Elements of a DUI Stop
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Having a drink or two while over at someone’s house doesn’t seem like it will be that big of a deal. You don’t live too far away, and so getting your car back home in one piece won’t be too difficult.
Your thinking may be skewed, and if an officer believes your driving isn’t quite right, you may find yourself on the side of the road. A traffic stop is never something to look forward to, but a DUI stop is typically more high-stakes than other offenses. Having a general idea of some of the elements involved in a DUI stop might help you get through it with your record intact.
Speaking With the Officer
When an officer pulls you over, the first thing they do is approach your vehicle. Depending on where in the road you are stopped, they usually come to the driver’s side window to chat. During this discussion, be mindful that the officer is sizing you up. They are looking for any sign or indication that you are under the influence of something. This includes things like the smell of your breath, your mannerisms and your eyes. If you are not cooperating or cannot follow an officer’s directions, they may want to question you further about your impairment.
Blood or Breath Test
One way officers measure an individuals alcohol impairment is through the use of a blood or breath test. The roadside test is called a breathalyzer, and it is a useful tool in prosecuting someone for driving under the influence of alcohol. The officer will ask if you want to take a breath test to measure the level of intoxication. You can refuse this; however, keep in mind, there is a good chance you live in a state with implied consent laws on the books. These laws mean that when you got your license, you agreed to take a test to measure the alcohol in your system when asked by an officer. If you refuse and you live in one of these states, you may immediately lose your license for up to a year or longer.
Roadside Sobriety Testing
Roadside testing is another way officers test your level of impairment after a traffic stop. These series of tasks are used to measure your ability to follow directions and perform simple but coordinated actions that a sober person should be able to do without problems. However, if you are under the influence of alcohol, there is a chance that you will not be able to pass these tests.
If you find yourself in the back of a police car charged with a DUI, you may want to find help. A DUI lawyer in San Francisco, CA will have the skills and knowledge necessary to aid you in mounting a defense.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and requirements of a DUI stop.