No one ever plans on getting charged with DUI, but sometimes mistakes are made, so you may find yourself about to be charged with driving drunk. While this can be a scary situation to be in, it's important to keep your cool while interacting with law enforcement, as anything you say can be used against you if there is a trial. At the same time, though, you should be aware that you still have rights even while you are under arrest. Here are three tips to keep in mind if you find yourself accused of DUI.
You Have the Right to Refuse Testing
Normally when a police officer pulls someone over for a suspected DUI, they ask the person to go through a series of tests to determine whether they are drunk. But just because a police officer asks you to take a test does not mean you have to do so. Yes, it's true that in some states refusing to take a DUI test could result in your license getting suspended, but if you are found guilty of DUI, you are likely going to run into similar problems anyway. If you know your blood-alcohol level will be significantly over the limit, it might be in your best interest to refuse testing.
You Don't Have to Give Permission to Search
Once a police officer has identified that you are drunk, they may ask to search your vehicle. But with some rare exceptions, like if the officer clearly sees an opened bottle of alcohol sitting in the back seat, they do not have permission to search your entire vehicle without a warrant, so don't volunteer to let them do it.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
The police officer might ask you some questions about your night out either during the investigation or after you are arrested. You do not have to say anything to this person about your evening. Anything that you say will in fact likely end up in the police report. The best course of action in this situation is to keep your mouth shut and request a DUI attorney immediately.
A good DUI attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or get the case thrown out if it is clear that proper police protocol was not followed during the arrest. For this reason, don't go out of your way to be helpful to the people who are arresting you. It is not illegal to politely decline to give information or permission to search to a police officer. Contact a DUI attorney such as one at The Ryan Law Firm today for more information.