Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Alabama and the rest of the country as well. If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI and then blow more than 0.08 on a breathalyzer test, you will be placed under arrest. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or fourth offense, your blood alcohol content (BAC) cannot be more than 0.08 when you are driving. The penalties differ depending on where you live but there’s always some type of fine, license suspension, or jail time involved with a DUI charge. If you ever find yourself pulled over for DUI in Alabama, there are some steps you should take to minimize the negative consequences as much as possible.
Always Stop for an Officer
You should never flee the scene of a traffic stop or fail to pull over when a police officer activates his lights behind you. Failing to stop will only make the situation worse. It doesn’t matter if you are intoxicated or not, you must stop for a police officer who initiates a traffic stop. The minute the officer decides to pull you over he or she will begin observing you for any behavior that could wind up in the police report.
Follow Instructions and Be Polite
It’s important for you to follow instructions given by the officer or else you could be arrested before any tests are performed for suspicion of DUI. You must also be polite when speaking to the officer, no matter how the officer treats you. When the officer instructs you to turn off the vehicle and exit the car, do so in a timely fashion without making any jerky movements. If you are asked a question about how much you’ve had to drink don’t answer with attitude or in a condescending manner.
Avoid Incriminating Yourself
Do everything possible to avoid incriminating yourself when answering questions. The only information you are required to provide the police officer during a DUI traffic stop is your name, driver’s license, registration and auto insurance. You do not legally have to answer any other questions. Instead of ignoring the officer, simply tell the officer “I’m sorry, but I do not want to answer any further questions without my attorney present.” This provides the officer with less opportunity to gather incriminating evidence.
Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
It is important to refuse field sobriety tests (FSTs) when pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Alabama. There is no law that forces you to submit to an FST when stopped for DUI. The officer may imply that it is in your best interests to submit to this type of test, but keep in mind that the main purpose of these tests is to help the officer establish probable cause for a drunk driving arrest.
You should also refuse the field breathalyzer test. This is the test administered when the officer asks you to blow into the hand-held device. These devices might not be calibrated properly, the officer might not be trained to use it, and there could be other issues with the device. This is not to be confused with the chemical test you will be asked to submit to if you are arrested and brought to the station. When you were issued a driver’s license, you gave your implied consent to take this chemical test if you are arrested on suspicion for DUI. Refusal to take this test can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension and other enhanced penalties.
Write Info Down
Once you have been released from custody, you need to write down every detail you remember about the traffic stop and subsequent arrest. This includes names of all officers you encountered, where the traffic stop occurred, what was said to you and much more. Write down where you were drinking, how much you had to drink, the time of your last drink, anything you said to the officer and if you were read your Miranda rights.
Schedule a Consultation with a Seasoned DUI Attorney Today
Were you stopped for suspicion of DUI and subsequently charged? Whether it’s your first, second, or subsequent charge for driving under the influence, you should always consult with a seasoned Alabama DUI attorney. Call the office of Darley Law in Mobile, AL at 251-441-7772 to schedule a consultation today.