The thought of being stopped by the police for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can be a terrifying idea, but it does not have to be quite as devastating as you might expect. Being stopped or arrested is not the end of the process but rather the beginning. There are several different things you can do to mitigate the risk of jail time for a DUI, and we are here to help you with a few of those.
From how to behave when stopped by the police to how to find a lawyer that can help you with DUI charges, we have put together some top tips for what to do if you are arrested for a DUI. Read on below to learn more about how to handle DUI charges and what to do to keep yourself as safe as possible!
What is a DUI?
A DUI charge, which stands for “Driving Under Influence,” is the legal charge against you for driving while affected by alcohol or drugs. This can be quite a serious charge, as driving under the influence of mentally impairing substances such as alcohol and drugs puts both you and the general public at severe risk.
If you drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be at risk of DUI charges. The thresholds are very low; a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% recorded within 2 hours of driving is enough for a misdemeanor charge. The best thing you can do to minimize the risk of being arrested on DUI charges is to stay safe and sensible and ensure that you do not drive while at all impaired.
What do you actually have to do when arrested?
If an officer stops you, there are several things that you might think you are legally required to do but are not actually obliged to do. You are not actually required to give any information to an officer, apart from your drivers license. This is the one thing that you are legally required to provide if asked, and it is important to ensure you have your license kept somewhere easy to access at short notice. You should also keep your other documentation readily available – your insurance card and vehicle registration may also be required.
Things to Avoid
When an officer stops you and pulls you over, they are starting to gather evidence against you. That means that you should do whatever you can to minimize the available incriminating evidence and to reduce the reasons they might have to want to charge you.
Avoid answering questions until you have an attorney present. You do not have to answer any questions an officer asks you, and they are not allowed to videotape you without your consent. So… do not consent to that! Similarly, you should refuse to take any sort of roadside sobriety test, even if you think you should be able to pass one. These are not accurate tests, and you will not pass them, so it is best to just say no.
Things to Remember
Even when you are saying no to an officer, it is important to remember to be polite and respectful. Roadside traffic stops are often opportunities for officers to flex their egos, and they can be very aggressive and unpleasant. Do not rise to the bait, and stay calm and friendly at all times. The first thing you should do is to call a DUI lawyer immediately before the officer can start to gather evidence against you.
The Importance of a Vehicular Crime Attorney
It is very important to get a good vehicular crime DUI attorney to help you with your case. Legal advice can make the risk of conviction far lower, and a professional attorney who specializes in DUI cases is the most important resource you can have in your arsenal.
Smaller legal firms are likely to have lawyers and attorneys with general knowledge rather than specializations. That means you are better off sticking with a larger Arizona legal firm, like Cantor Law. This gives you a better chance of getting an attorney that is a real expert in the field, giving you the best help you can possibly have.
Being pulled over by the police can be scary, but if you stay calm and call a DUI attorney immediately, you should be able to make a much better case than if you panic. DUI attorneys are here to help you, and they are expert professionals in the field!