DUI and criminal law attorney Matt Wallin of Wallin & Klarich, A Law Corporation, gives 7 tips on what to do when being pulled over for a DUI in these informative videos.
Tip #1. What Are You Required To Do When Pulled Over?
You are only required to give your license and vehicle registration to an officer if pulled over for a DUI. Attorney Matt Wallin explains what do should and should not consent to during a DUI stop in California.
Most DUI investigations begin with the officer asking for your license and registration.
The officer usually then follows with the question, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“Have you been drinking?”
You are not required to answer these questions.
Law enforcement may also ask you to do field sobriety tests and blow into a Portable Alcohol Screening device (PAS). You are not required to do either of these things.
Tip #2. “What Should I Say When The Police Ask ‘Have You Been Drinking?'”
The question that we frequently get asked during new client consultations is, “How do I respond to a police officer when he or she asks me if I have been drinking?” Sometimes there is no right answer. Admitting to drinking even a small amount of alcohol is enough for police to arrest you.
Attorney Matthew Wallin, experienced in defending clients accused of DUI offenses in California, recommends that the best response is not to answer the question. Instead, tell the officer, “I have been advised not to answer any questions.”
For some reason, most people will admit to drinking only a little, usually settling on 2 drinks as the amount that they believe the officer will accept. On top of (usually) being a lie, the officer is only trying to get you to admit you drank any alcohol at all.
Your admission is what is going to be used against you, so you must be very careful with how you respond to that question.
Tip #3. How Do Police Determine Impairment During A DUI Stop?
Police use a long list of “objective symptoms” to determine if someone is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Attorney Matthew B. Wallin, experienced in DUI defense in Southern California, explains that any given symptom can have many different and acceptable causes that an attorney can challenge in court.
The defense’s job is to show reasonable alternative explanations for the symptoms that police claimed were evidence of intoxication.
For example: bloodshot eyes can be caused by alcohol, but also by allergies, smoke, swimming, etc.
The police does not take the time to find out whether any of the symptoms were caused by any deficiencies you may have either physically or mentally. The police will assume that these deficiencies equal impairment.
Tip #4. Are You Required To Take A Breathalyzer Test During A DUI Stop?
Attorney Matthew B. Wallin, experienced in DUI defense in Southern California, explains which DUI tests are optional and which must be completed.
In California, if you are over 21, all field sobriety tests are optional tests. Therefore, you do not have to submit to a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. However, you can only be compelled to do a chemical test of your blood or breath once you have been arrested. Again, this rule only applies to those who are over 21. If you are under 21 you are required to submit to the field breath test if asked.
Once you have been arrested you are required by law to submit to a chemical test. The chemical test can either be a breathalyzer test or a blood draw.
Tip #5. “What Happens If I Am Arrested For DUI?”
What happens if you are arrested for a DUI in California? What happens after they place you in handcuffs? Once you are being detained, you must choose between a blood or breath test to determine your blood alcohol content. Unlike the preliminary screening, this test is mandatory.
The implied consent law, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23612 (CVC 23612), requires all those with a California Driver’s License to submit to a chemical test of either your blood or your breath.
Police will not tell you which test they believe is better, but if you decide to do the breath test, they are required to inform you that the breath test cannot be retested later. Only blood can be retested.
At the police station you will be booked, fingerprinted, and a mugshot will be taken. Police will then decide what bail should be set at, or if you should be released without bail.
Tip #6. What Happens To Your Car During A DUI Arrest?
The police have discretion over what happens to your vehicle once you are placed under arrest.
The police have the option to tow and impound your car.
However, if the officer is in a good mood, they can have your car placed somewhere safe, or have a sober passenger drive the car home for you.
Tip #7. What To Do After You’ve Been Arrested For DUI
Wallin & Klarich attorney Matthew Wallin explains what you need to do immediately after being arrested for DUI in California. Your actions will help you build a successful defense to DUI charges.
After you are released from custody, you need to write down your court date so that you and your attorney are aware of when to appear in court.
If you are arrested for DUI, you need to write down the events of your arrest right away. Write down why you were pulled over, if you took any field sobriety tests, and if the officer gave you a choice between a blood or breath test. Writing down what transpired will legitimize your side of the story.
You also should write down information about yourself, including if you have a criminal record, what type of employment you have, and family history.
The most important thing to do is contact an experienced attorney immediately.
If you need to speak to an attorney regarding your DUI arrest in California, please call attorney Matthew B. Wallin, experienced in DUI defense, at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245.