What should you do if you look in your rearview mirror while driving and see the infamous flashing red lights? Should your answer to that question change if you are concerned that you are legally under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance? Now flash forward to being placed under arrest. How should you handle that? What should you say to the arresting officer? Should you agree to perform the field sobriety tests? What about the chemical test at the station or jail? For the average person, the answer to these questions are somewhat elusive given the fact that the average person doesn’t get stopped while driving and arrested on a regular basis. It is, however, in your best interest to know the answers because you could find yourself in exactly that position at some point in your life. Fortunately, a Sarpy County DUI lawyer has provided the following tips for how to handle a traffic stop and subsequent arrest.
- What should you do when you see the flashing lights in your rearview mirror? This one is fairly simple – slow down and pull to the side of the road out of traffic just as you would for any other traffic stop. Do not make the mistake of trying to delay the stop so that you can get rid of the evidence. Law enforcement officers have seen this maneuver one too many times and it just makes them more suspicious. Moreover, it usually doesn’t work anyway. By complying immediately, you set a positive tone for the stop, thereby putting yourself in the best possible position for getting a break if it is an option.
- How should you answer initial questions? This one is a bit trickier. Lying to a law enforcement officer is never a good idea; however, volunteering information that will incriminate you isn’t a good idea either. Try to avoid answering a question related to your consumption of alcohol/drugs if possible. Keep in mind that trying for the idle ground by saying “I just drank one beer” is usually the equivalent of admitting you are under the influence because officers rarely believe you.
- Should you agree to perform the Field Sobriety Tests? This are difficult for most people to pass when sober – and the officer makes a subjective determination of pass or fail. Moreover, the results are inadmissible in court and only serve as evidence of probable cause to make an arrest. In most cases, there is no beneficial reason to agree to perform the FSTs.
- How should you handle the decision to place you under arrest? Do not resist and do not waste your energy trying to talk the officer out of arresting you. Keep in mind you are likely being videotaped so try to act as reasonable (and sober) as possible. If you have a passenger that you trust, give him/her any valuables to hold for you.
- Should you submit to the chemical test as the station/jail? This is a completely different analysis. Refusing has its own consequences, including the loss of your driving privileges. On the other hand, if your BAC level is significantly over the legal limit, it will be difficult to avoid a conviction. You will have to weigh the two potential consequences when making your decision.
- What should you do immediately after being arrested? Contact a Sarpy County DUI lawyer right away to ensure that your rights are protected from that point forward.
Contact a Sarpy County DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of Nebraska, contact an Sarpy County DUI lawyer at Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.