Drunk driving laws can be complicated. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol you might have some questions. Below we will discuss the top ten most frequently asked questions from drivers.
Drunk Driving questions
1. What patterns do police look for when searching out intoxicated drivers on the road?
Before a police officer decides to stop your car they need probable cause. For a DUI arrest the National Highway Traffic Administration has published a list of the most frequent actions which indicate a driver may be intoxicated. Some of the most common driving actions of a drunk driver include:
- Making wide turns
- Straddling the central marker between the lanes
- Appearing to be Drunk
- Weaving between lanes
- Driving off a designated highway or street
- Swerving within the lane lines
- Speeding over 10 mph above the designated speed limit
- Frequent stopping and staring in traffic lanes
- Driving over center marker between lanes
- Excessive braking
2. Do I have to tell a police officer I have been drinking if he asks me?
If you have been drinking you do not have to answer any questions about your actions which you believe could be incriminating. If you are asked questions by the police officer it might be a good idea to ask for a lawyer.
3. Can I ask for a lawyer BEFORE I take my field sobriety test?
You will not have the right to talk to a lawyer before you take the field sobriety test. But you do have the legal right to refuse to take the field sobriety test. Keep in mind, however, that a refusal will not necessarily stop the officer from arresting you for drunk driving. If you have been arrested for drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test, you can expect to have your license suspended for up to a year, even if you are found not guilty of drunk driving.
4. Should I refuse to take a field sobriety test?
You have the legal right to refuse to take the field sobriety test. Generally, however, if the officer is asking you take the test they have already made up their mind you are intoxicated. If you fail the test your failure may only validate the officer’s suspicions and serve as additional evidence for your drunk driving case. Politely declining the FST can be a valid option for drivers.
5. What happens if I refuse a chemical test?
There are severe penalties for a chemical test refusal. For instance, in some states you will receive a one year license suspension, which could be a longer suspension than if you had taken the test and been convicted of DUI.
Additionally, in some states the prosecution is allowed to provide information about the test refusal to the court. In this case, a refusal of a chemical test can be seen as a consciousness of guilt. Finally, some states will also allow enhanced penalties if the driver refused a chemical test.
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