Being arrested for drunk driving is not something for which we are ever prepared. Tears, fears, and potential punishments race through your mind, the alcohol intensifying your emotional state. Upon arriving at city or county jail, you will feel as though you have hit rock bottom.
Take it from an experienced drunk driving defense attorney: Cooperating with law enforcement, yet not being overly cooperative is one tactic that may help your criminal defense team protect your rights after you have been pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving.
Helpful Tactics When Pulled Over
Pulling over when asked, as opposed to running, will definitely help your situation. Remember to use turn signals, yield to traffic, and pull over on the correct side of road. Consider the following quick tips before and during your police questioning:
- Never offer to get out of the car, especially if you are under the influence.
- Provide all requested identification and paperwork without delaying.
- Keep your seatbelt fastened to avoid further citations.
- Speak with a respectful tone, avoid using large words or extending the conversation.
- Utilize your right to remain silent about whether you have been drinking.
- Offer nothing about how much you have consumed; officers will already assume you are lying.
- Keep your demeanor warm, friendly, and cooperative despite the officers’ actions.
- Remember the details of the entire incident from being pulled over,to the initial arrest. Your drunk driving defense attorney may interview you and collect valuable information to defend your case.
- Do not agree to perform the voluntary field sobriety tests.
- If you have been drinking, refuse the test of breath (subject to potential MVA consequences).
Listening to everything the officer says, along with cooperating with tests, will help you tremendously. Anything you do that seems ‘fishy’ will be picked up by the officer’s dash camera, which is sound enabled, and is potentially admissible (and frequently subpoenaed) in court for defense purposes.
What About DUI Checkpoints?
Utilizing checkpoints simply to pluck drivers off roadways is not any more or less legal than your intoxicated condition, yet Maryland courts have ruled that the constitutionality of these roadblocks in previous cases depends on signage, language, and availability of supervising officers. Although some Maryland folks are keeping their windows rolled up at checkpoints, check with your attorney prior to engaging in such risky behavior.
During busy holidays when travel is expected to increase, police will set barriers to check IDs and also pull potential intoxicated drivers off the interstates to begin alcohol testing. According to legislative language, sobriety checkpoints are permissible, yet pulling vehicles over without reasonable suspicion of egregious activity, lack of registration, or licensure is not allowed.
Therefore, always stop at DUI checkpoints when you pass one, yet take note of how the officers are acting. If they are behaving unlawfully, it could derail any case they try to bring against you for driving under the influence.
Tests are Done: Now What?
The police officer has completed the series of necessary tests, run your license for warrants, and has determined that you have been driving while intoxicated. The officer proceeds to approach you, slap the cuffs on, and shoves you into the police cruiser.
What happened during the tests, and whatever is next, will ultimately determine whether you have any shot of dropping the case, or if you will need to call your spouse or loved one to warn them of your imminent stay at one of Maryland’s many county jails. Your nerves, patience, and strength will be tested next. You need a skilled attorney by your side.
Above all else, make sure you never threaten an officer or brandish weapons. This will not only enhance your drunk driving charge, but it may get you killed.
Annapolis, Maryland-based Brassel Alexander, LLC has a team of skilled DUI attorneys capable of handling your case in many areas across Maryland. Contact us today for superior representation tomorrow.