Why Drunk Driving Won't Be Your Worst Mistake
Jan 09, 2019
Getting caught Drunk Driving is one of the most common crimes committed in our society. As mistakes go, it can come with some steep consequences. Once you see the flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror, your mind might start racing as time seems to slow down. You might be thinking, "Why did they pull me over?" and "What am I going to say?" You might also wonder, "How many drinks did I have?" and "Am I going to jail?"
Don't Assume Anything
Before the officer steps up to the window of your car, keep your hands on the steering wheel so they are visible to the officer. Be polite and don't assume anything. The officer may have something in mind that initiated the stop, but they have also been trained to look for other issues. Stay calm and wait for the officer to ask you questions and give you commands. Don't let this process irritate you, as the officer has been given the legal authority to perform the traffic stop.
You are not required to submit to the physical field sobriety tests, such as the walk and turn, one leg stand, or the finger to nose test. If you are over the age of 21, and you are asked to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening test or preliminary breathalyzer at the traffic stop, you have the right to say no as long as it is not the final evidentiary test. The law also states that you have the right to demand a blood test. You also have the right to refuse a blood test if the officer does not have a warrant. However, this may result in the loss of your driving privilege for one to three years. In addition, if you are under the age of 21 you have to submit to the preliminary alcohol screening device. If you don't you are facing the loss of your license with no restricted license provision, unless you qualify for a critical need license based upon the unavailability of public transportation. Also, if you are on probation you, likewise, have to submit to the preliminary screening device or you face the loss of your driving privilege as well.
While in Custody
Unfortunately, you do not have the right to speak to an attorney before being tested using breath or blood and urine samples. Once taken into custody, your ability to refuse testing is extremely limited. If you do refuse to submit to the breath or blood test, it is still possible for the officers to call a judge and obtain a warrant to test you without your consent. Recent case law has held that refusal of the blood test cannot be grounds for a criminal violation. However, if you do refuse, DMV can still hit you with a much stiffer license suspension.
Insist on Speaking to an Attorney
If you are in custody and the officers are questioning you, other than responding to what type of chemical test you will take, it is important that you remain silent and ask for an attorney. You are not required to answer there questions. Often they are fishing for information to incriminate you. Your Miranda rights are there to protect you- use them and insist on having an attorney present if the officers have arrested you and are questioning you.
Get Help Now
Whether you have been arrested or not, we are happy to schedule a free consultation to explain your rights and what to expect in any given situation. Your worst mistake could be choosing not to talk to an experienced attorney with the ability to guide you through this difficult process. Michael E. Mitchell has over 13 years of experience practicing DUI defense. He is a member the California DUI Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and has been trained as a field sobriety practitioner, instructor and has extensive experience in drugged driving defense. Mitchell Law Group has the experience necessary to identify and achieve the best outcome possible for your situation. Contact us today to learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family from any unnecessary consequences of your actions.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.