Some people understand their rights when it comes to driving under the influence. Some feel like you need a law degree to understand everything. The police will try to make you do and say everything that they want.
You don’t have to.
Sure, there are things they ask that you need to do. In many situations, however, you have all the right to refuse and remain silent. If you’re not sure when to invoke these rights, here are ten facts you need to know when you’re pulled over for a DUI.
What to Do When Police Pull You Over
When the police pull you over for being suspected of driving under the influence, it’s crucial to have the right knowledge. If you want a quick reminder of some of your rights, useful mnemonics is to recite the Miranda Rights to yourself. Miranda Rights contains half of what you can do in such a situation.
With this in mind, here are 10 things you can and can’t do in a DUI pullover.
- You must show proper documentation.
One of the musts in any police pullover is to show the right documentation. Once they ask for your documents, you need to present complete, current, and unexpired documents. These documents include:
- Your driver’s license
- Official car registration
- Official proof of license
If the police believe you have a vehicle malfunction or DUI, provide your basic information. Show them your license and insurance. Without this vital paperwork, they can charge you with other issues too.
- You must get out of your car when asked.
If the police think you are driving under the influence, they will ask you to get out of your car. Under the law, you must follow them and get out of your vehicle if they ask you.
Refusal to get out of your vehicle can result in an arrest for you.
- You must do the preliminary breathalyzer test.
If the police ask you to do a breathalyzer test, compliance is a must. Michigan has an implied consent law. This law means if you have a valid driver’s license, you agree to submit to a breathalyzer test.
If you refuse, you are not only subject to penalties, but you will also get a fine. Even then, if the officer believes there is a reason for an arrest, they can arrest you.
- Police can search you if there is probable cause.
In general, the police do not have an automatic right to search your person or your car. You don’t even have to give consent to look in your car, your storage, or in your glove box. If they have probable cause, however, they can look.
If there are visible alcohol bottles or substances in open view, they can search for evidence.
- You have the right to remain silent.
One of your fundamental rights is to remain silent. If they ask you anything, you are free not to answer anything. If they continue, you can inform them with respect that you invoke your right to remain silent.
Anything you say can and will be usable against you in the court of law.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you.
As we noted, anything that you say can and will be a statement against you. Anything you say to the police is something they can misconstrue. It’s best to not admit to anything, even if you say you had a drink early in the day.
It is common for officers to have a microphone that will record the conversation. It is potential evidence against you on your court date. It’s best to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.
- You can refuse a field sobriety test.
Once you exit the car, one of the things officers will ask you is to take a field sobriety test. You can refuse to do so. All you need is to be police, decline, and say no.
Police cannot punish you for refusing to do a field sobriety test.
- You can refuse a blood alcohol test.
A blood alcohol test is much different than the mandatory breathalyzer test. You don’t have to give your consent to get a blood test. By law, warrantless blood tests are illegal.
You can consent to a blood alcohol test if you want, but you don’t have to. Blood tests can be evidence against you in court.
- You can ask if you can leave.
At any time during the police stop, you can ask the police officer if you can leave. The police do not have the right to detain you for an extended amount of time. Ask the question with calm and civility.
They can stop you, ask questions, and ask for a breathalyzer test. If you pass the mandatory breathalyzer test without issue, you can ask if you are under arrest.
If they say no, ask if you can go. If they refuse, ask if you are under arrest. If the officer still says no, leave slow and calm.
- Don’t resist arrest.
It is almost likely that you will disagree with any attempt to arrest you. Do not resist. Any hostility, physical or verbal, can lead to another charge.
It is not the time to argue if the arrest is legal or not. It’s best to say that in court with a lawyer.
Call a Lawyer When Charged with DUI
If you receive an arrest for a potential DUI or DWI, it’s best to talk to a Lansing DUI lawyer. Call an attorney that can help you weave out of the problem. Your attorney will stop the arrest and determine if the police behaved right with you around.
If there were any improper conduct or if the police made a mistake during the drunk driving investigation, an experienced lawyer would work to get things in your favor.