First and foremost, I cannot stress enough the importance of NOT GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR AFTER CONSUMING ALCOHOL. Drinking and driving kills, ruins lives and costs a boat load of money.
Tip # 1: Don’t drink and drive. Get a cab or designate a sober driver. The risk is far too great on so many levels.
Tip # 2: What should I do if I get pulled over after having one too many drinks? When you’re first pulled over and approached by the police officer, you should cooperate and be honest! Attempting to delay, deceive, or disrespect the officer will only get you into more trouble.
Tip # 3: What should I say when the officer starts asking me questions? You should definitely tell the officer about any illnesses, injuries, conditions you’ve been suffering from, but otherwise, you should politely tell the officer that you do not wish to answer any questions about whether or not you’ve been drinking, when you last ate a meal, and where you were traveling to without consulting your attorney first. Explain to him or her that you know how the game is played and you would feel much more comfortable consulting with your attorney. Remember though, always be respectful.
Tip # 4: What if the officer asks me to get out of my car and perform a field sobriety test?You should politely tell the officer that you are not feeling well enough to perform any field sobriety tests (e.g. due to any of the illnesses, injuries, or conditions you’ve already told him or her about), and that you only wish to provide a chemical sample. You are not required by law to perform any of these field sobriety tests.
Tip # 5: Am I required to blow into a hand-held device? If you’re 21 years old or older, you MUST give a blood or breath sample if the officer suspects that you’ve been driving under the influence of alcohol, or risk losing your driving privilege. However, most officers will first ask you to blow into a preliminary alcohol screening (“PAS”) device to quickly determine in the field if you’ve been driving with a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) above .08. You are NOT required to submit to a PAS test! You should also keep in mind that if you stopped drinking well before you got on the road (i.e. 2 or more hours), you should never provide a breath sample in the field (or otherwise), but instead ask to give a blood sample. In this scenario, giving a blood sample is preferred because it takes a while for the officer to complete the DUI investigation in the field before transporting you to a medical facility (or jail) for a blood draw. By the time you provide a sample, your BAC will hopefully have fallen below .08.
Tip # 6: What if I didn’t stop drinking until just before I got on the road – Is it OK to give a breath sample then? If you believe that your blood alcohol content may be over the legal limit of .08 (i.e. you got on the road right after finishing a drink or two), you may consider giving a breath sample (both in the field using the PAS device, as well as at the station) because there are more opportunities to attack the reliability of a breath test in court, and the results of your breath test(s) may show that your blood alcohol content was still rising well after you were pulled over. In other words, your blood alcohol content at the time you were driving may have been below the legal limit.
Tip # 7: If the officer decides to arrest me, what should I do after being released from jail?Get yourself a lawyer ASAP. HANNAN & BLACK LAW GROUP’s attorneys never charge a fee for an initial consultation, and promise to provide honest feedback in a friendly and compassionate manner. There is absolutely no risk. Call us today.