Van Riper & Nies Attorneys, P.A      772-283-8712
Stuart, Port St. Lucie and Fort Pierce DUI Defense Law

7 Tips


 Christian Van Riper


Timothy C. Nies

Tips to Follow if Pulled Over for a DUI

If you were pulled over for a DUI, would you know what to do? If you drink, you need to know what to do if you get pulled over for a DUI.  Of course, the best advice is to wait a while until you are better able to drive before getting behind the wheel. However, if you  drink alcohol and drive and are pulled over by the police, understanding the tests used during a DUI investigation, which you will be given, and how police officers are trained to give the tests, may help you and your attorney fighting the DUI charge.

1. Be Courteous

If you argue with the officer, or even worse, get physical with the officer, you may also be charged with “Resisting Arrest Without Violence” or “Resisting Arrest With Violence”. Provide the officer with your name, license, insurance card and registration if requested. You can respectfully decline to answer his or her questions and ask to speak with an attorney.

 

2. Be Quiet

Anything you say to the officer will be written down, or even recorded by video, and will be used against you in court. You have the right to remain silent. The officer is trained to be polite and friendly in an effort to get you to speak and admit to drinking alcohol. Therefore, if you have been drinking, you should nicely refuse to answer his or her questions. You may say “I prefer to not answer that question” if asked how much you have had to drink.

 

3. You Are Not Required to Perform Field Sobriety Tests

Refusing a field sobriety test is not an admission of guilt. You are completely within your rights to refuse to take a field sobriety test. Florida law does not require you to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking a straight line. The tests are often complicated, and quite frankly, you probably have never done them before in your life. If you believe that taking a field sobriety test will incriminate you, then nicely decline to take the tests. Remember, that in all likelihood, you will take the field sobriety test while being recorded by the police officer’s dash mounted camera.

 

4.    If Arrested, Do Not Say Anything to the Officer While Being Transported.

 

5. You Are Not Required to Complete the Breathalyzer Test.

You probably already know that the Breathalyzer is a device for estimating blood alcohol content (BAC) from a breath sample taken when you blow into the device. If you refuse to take this test, you will have your license suspended for a year with no criminal penalties.  The refusal would be a civil, not a criminal offense, which is much more drastic than a criminal DUI charge. In Florida, once a driver has completed 12 hours of driving school, your lawyer will usually be able to get a hardship license for you so you can go to and from work, school, etc. If you do take the Breathalyzer test, and blow over a .08, your license will be suspended, but will be a criminal suspension.  A proactive attorney will fight for your rights at the hearing before the DMV.

6. Hire a DUI Defense Attorney within 10 Days

Whether you submitted to the Breathalyzer test or not, you should hire an attorney within 10 days of your arrest. Florida Law has a “10-Day Rule”, which means, if you hire a lawyer within 10 days, your lawyer can begin the process to get your license back before it is suspended officially. Within these 10 days, your lawyer will be able to have the DMV provide you with a temporary driving permit; however, after the 10 days, your license will be suspended unless your attorney can stop the suspension. 

7. Lastly, if You are Going to Drink Alcohol, Do Not Drive.

The problems and headaches above, as well as the expense of having to hire an attorney may all be avoided if you do not drive after drinking alcohol.

For more information about our DUI Defense Practice, please call us day or night at 772-283-8712. We know that most DUI arrests occur at night, so please don’t hesitate to call after hours. You may also email our attorney, Christian Van Riper, at christian@vanriperandnies.com, or complete the contact form below.

The information in this article is for general information only. Every case is different. The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice.


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