Tips From a DUI Lawyer: What To Do If You’re Stopped For Driving Under the Influence

Imagine this scenario: you have just left a lovely dinner with your friends where you had one or two alcoholic drinks. You don’t feel tipsy or buzzed, but you’re pulled over and accused of driving under the influence. Do you know what to do to protect yourself and your rights? 

In this brief article, our best DUI attorney in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan has a few tips to keep in mind if you ever find yourself stopped for a DUI.

Tip 1: Be Polite Without Incriminating Yourself

When you’ve been pulled over, it’s frustrating and you might be tempted to argue to defend yourself. While you certainly do not want to be a push-over, it’s important to remain as polite as possible when dealing with law enforcement. 

On the flip-side, you should avoid being overly friendly with law enforcement and accidentally saying something you might regret. For example, you don’t want to admit that you were just having drinks with friends.

Tip 2: Know that you have the Option to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test

Although refusing a breath, urine or blood test after an arrest for DUI can result in a driver’s license suspension pursuant to Florida Statute 316.1932 (1)(a)1.a., you are not required to agree to a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test may include one or more of the following:

  • The One-Leg Stand Test: An officer will instruct the driver to stand on one leg while counting out loud beginning with one thousand. The driver continues to stand and count while the officer looks for signs of impairment such as hopping from foot-to-foot, waving of the arms, or swaying to maintain balance. 
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test: While intoxicated, the naturally occurring twitching of the eyes is exaggerated. In this test, the officer is looking for this exaggerated movement and attempting to determine if the driver’s eyes are unable to follow an object smoothly. 
  • The Walk-and-Run Test: an officer will instruct the person to walk, heel to toe, along a straight line. The officer is watching for loss of balance, the inability to touch heel to toe, and using arms to balance.

Simply put: field sobriety tests are too subjective and are often performed illegally or without following the proper procedure. The tests are designed for failure and it is nearly impossible for you to meet law enforcement’s expectations. Quite frankly, if the officer is asking you to do these tests, he/she has likely already bade up his/her mind to place you under arrest for DUI. With this in mind, please know that you have the right to refuse these tests.

Tip 3: Contact an Attorney ASAP

Although you may be tempted to defend yourself, especially when you feel you have done nothing wrong, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you understand the procedure for getting a hardship or temporary license if your license is being suspended, fight the charges or discuss the possibility of reducing your charges, and will work to protect you throughout the process. 

If you’re facing DUI charges, you need the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan. Call us today.  

For a free consultation with the best DUI lawyer in Clearwater, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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