The cops have pulled you over on suspicion of a DUI. Here are 5 practical tips you can use to avoid a DUI conviction…
The police are at hard at work arresting people for DUI. Whether it’s DUI checkpoints or roving patrols, cops are looking to make arrests and in the process often arrest perfectly innocent people or after a shortcut investigation. So what should you do to make sure you are not falsely convicted of DUI? Here are five practical tips you can follow to protect yourself and your rights:
1. Shut up!
You have the right to remain silent; so use it. It’s amazing how many people try to reason with the officer and end up talking their way into trouble instead of out of it. Don’t tell them where you are coming from. Don’t tell them where you are going. Just give them the requested documents and stay quiet.
When you do this, the police will try to pressure you to talk. They maylie and say things like “Looks like you’ve got something to hide” or “By not cooperating you’re only making things worse for yourself.” Don’t fall for these lies and pressure tactics. Politely answer: “Officer, I choose to use my right to remain silent”.
Remember, “anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law” and your silence can never be used against you.
2. Don’t Blow
The portable breath testing (PBT) machines that the police use are very inaccurate. Even if you have had nothing to drink, the faulty technology in these machine can still produce an erroneous result. The good news is blowing into them is 100% optional. So, refuse it.
Your refusal to blow into these devices cannot be used against you in the state of Pennsylvania. The prosecution cannot mention it in court other than at a probable cause related hearing. It is completely optional.
(Note: You can be charged with a DUI Refusal if you refuse the official state test administered on the larger breath machines normally at the police department.)
3. Don’t Play Games
Sometimes police officers will ask you to step out of the vehicle to perform some physical tests like the straight line walk (Walk and Turn), one-leg stand and follow-my-finger-with-your-eyes test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus). These are also completely voluntary and can only cause you trouble. Many sober people have physical conditions that may cause them to fail or they might be clumsy or nervous. This is why you are better off staying put and refusing.
4. Write Things Down
Make sure to take notes so you don’t lose track of important facts. Don’t give it to anyone. Make sure to note the time of stop, where it was made, weather conditions, the name of the officer, names of witnesses and any other possible details. Details win cases and the more you have the stronger your case can be.
5. Get a Lawyer. Fast.
At the first opportunity possible call a qualified DUI attorney in your area. Many matters in a DUI case are time sensitive and contacting a DUI lawyer early on can greatly increase your chances of a successful defense.
(Note: We take drunk driving very seriously and encourage everyone to make responsible decisions. We are not encouraging people to drive while intoxicated. In fact we are encouraging innocent people to be aware of their rights and use them to protect themselves against false conviction.)