What Do I Do If Stopped After Drinking?

If the unfortunate happens, and you are stopped/pulled over after having consumed some alcoholic beverages, please consider the following:

Remain calm and be cooperative with the officer. But, be firm in asserting your rights.

Provide your drivers license, registration and insurance only. Do not volunteer any other information.

Do not make any statements, especially in response to: "Have you been drinking?" If you admit to drinking even one beer, it gives the officer reason to continue with questions and tests. In fact, with every word you say, the officer is checking for alcohol on your breath or listening for slurred speech.

Let the officer know that you respectfully decline to say anything without an attorney present. This may not prevent your arrest, but it goes on the record that you respectfully declined to answer questions without legal counsel.

If the officer persists, say that you wish to contact your attorney. Asserting this constitutional right will not be held against you in court.

Do not agree to perform ANY field sobriety tests such as the walk and turn or one-legged stand. You are under no legal obligation to submit to these tests. They are unreliable and designed to give the officer supporting evidence for arrest.

Do not agree to a roadside Breathalyzer test. Many people confuse this informal test with the "real" chemical test, or are afraid to say no. You are under no obligation to give a sample until you have been actually placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI/OVI. The portable breath test (PBT) device used by law enforcement in traffic stops is not admissible in court. And even if you blow less than .08, that evidence can be used to prove that your driving was impaired.

Whether or not to blow in the "real" breath machine once at the station is a judgement call you have to make on your own. Typically, although not always, we would advise one to politely refuse to submit to any chemical/breath test. However, refusing do to so does come with it built-in administrative penalties and may have an impact on your license and/or CDL.

What If You Meet A DUI Roadblock?

Law enforcement agencies often set up checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. If you come upon a roadblock, they have no probable cause to suspect you specifically.

Thus our advice is:

Say as little as possible. Do not admit to drinking alcohol. Do not agree to field sobriety tests. Do not submit to a roadside breath test, unless you are instructed to pull over and they have equipment on-site to take an official breath, blood or urine sample.

What Should You Do If You Are Arrested?

The officer may decide to take you into custody anyway: Remain cooperative but exercise your right to remain silent. You cant talk your way out of this.

Repeat your request to contact an attorney.

The Boerst Law Office
413 N Michigan St
Toledo, OH 43604
P: (419) 283-6401
F: (888) 221-4062

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