What to Do During a Traffic Stop for a DUI
If you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving, it is important to consult an experienced DUI attorney in St. Louis, Missouri to defend your legal rights and represent your case. Read the following guide to learn what to do if you’re ever pulled over for a DUI.
Pull Over Safely
From the moment you see police lights in your rearview mirror, your actions will be scrutinized and documented for an official police report. Remain calm and find a safe spot to pull over without slowing down too abruptly or driving erratically. When you are parked, keep your hands on the wheel, and avoid making any sudden movements to demonstrate to the police officer that you are not a threat.
When speaking with the officer, be sure to be respectful and honest. It is also important to comply with all instructions. Give the police officer your full name, driver’s license, and vehicle registration. When asked if you’ve been drinking, either answer truthfully or refuse to answer the question. If you lie about drinking and driving, it can be held against you in court.
Carefully Consider Taking a BAC Test
Missouri has an implied consent law, which means that you must agree to take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) if you are arrested for driving under the influence. Refusing to take a BAC test will result in an automatic, 1-year license suspension and may be used as evidence of your guilt in court. If you choose not to submit to the PBT (preliminary breath test which checks for alcohol) or the BAC test it is possible to avoid the 1-year suspension with legal representation.
Appeal Your Driver’s License Suspension
Once you refuse to take a BAC test, the police officer will take your license and present you with a 15-day limited driving permit. You will have 30 days to request a hearing to appeal the suspension. If you do not schedule a hearing or lose your case, then your license will be suspended for 1 year.
Document Your Experience
If arrested for a DUI, it is important to carefully document your experience to help fight the charges. Write down everything you can remember about the incident, even if it seems unimportant. Be sure to include the following information in your notes:
How much you had to drink
What you were doing before you drove
Where you were pulled over
What time you were arrested
What instructions the police officer gave you
How the police officer behaved
What you said to the police officer
When and if you were read your Miranda rights
What time you took the BAC test and how long it had been since your last drink.
Consult an Attorney
If you’ve been arrested on a DUI charge, it is essential to consult an experienced DUI attorney in St. Louis, MO to help protect your rights and your future. DUI attorneys are trained to investigate your case and challenge the legality of the charges. DUI attorneys are also skilled litigators and can represent your interests in court, plea bargain down your charges to a lesser offense for first-time offenders, and help reduce the fines and penalties associated with your DUI charge.