DUI / OVI – 6 Rules to follow if you get stopped and have been drinking
- DO NOT make any sudden moves when pulling over that might be interpreted as impaired driving.
Use your turn signal, pull over immediately, and come to a complete stop. It is extremely important to remember that everything about the stop (including your driving just before the stop) is being video and audio recorded.
- Be polite at all times.
It cannot be stressed enough how important this is. The conversation between you and the officer is being recorded. Do not give anyone that might listen or watch the recording at a later time any reason to believe you were being a jerk, unreasonable, or drunk. Therefore, always address the officer as sir or ma’am and DO NOT, at any point, become combative with the officer.
- DO NOT tell the officer you have been drinking.
Again, the conversation is being recorded, so any admission that you were drinking can AND WILL be used against you in court.
- DO NOT submit to any field sobriety tests.
Although officers have a right to ask you to step out of your vehicle, they cannot force you to perform field sobriety tests. These tests are completely voluntary. Therefore, when an officer asks you to step out of your vehicle you should comply (but NOT lean on your door when exiting your vehicle), and respectfully decline to perform any field sobriety tests when asked (without being rude).
NOTE: you should only refuse to perform field sobriety tests if you believe you are impaired.
- DO NOT submit to taking a breath, blood, or urine test.
Politely decline when the officer asks you to take a breath, blood, or urine test, if you have been drinking. Police officers try and persuade you to “cooperate” by taking the test. But, it is important to remember that YOU ARE NOT COOPERATING BY TAKING THE TEST. The officer is simply trying to build a case against you. By taking the test, you are essentially providing the officer probable cause to arrest you and the prosecutor strong evidence to convict you (if the results indicate you were driving over the legal limit).
You will be subjected to a one-year administrative license suspension (ALS) for refusing to take the test. However, you will be subjected to at least a 6-month suspension, regardless, if you are convicted of OVI. Further, the one-year ALS can usually be challenged after the fact and in many instances be reduced.
It should be noted, if you do submit to taking a breath, blood, or urine test and the results prove unfavorable, it does not mean you are guilty of OVI. There are still a myriad of defenses which can be raised.
- DO NOT make ANY statements after being arrested, ESPECIALLY when placed in the police cruiser.
Many police cruisers have microphones in the front and back seat of the vehicle, so do not think you are not being recorded just because you are placed in the back of a cruiser. Again, everything you say is being recorded AND WILL BE USED to convict you in court.
It should also be noted that you have the right to call your attorney at any point in the above interaction.
If you have any other questions related to DUI / OVI, please do not hesitate to call Dimitrios Makridis at (614) 349-4490 or Irene Makridis at (330) 394-1587.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Makridis Law Firm, LLC only provides legal advice after it has entered into a written attorney-client relationship, which this article does not create. Only after having entered into a written, signed agreement with Makridis Law Firm, LLC will an attorney-client relationship have been created.