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What to do during a DUI stop

Every day we’re faced with decisions. Some of these decisions involve weighing right versus wrong when determining which choice is correct. The same is true for when law enforcement suspects you of drunk driving.

While it’s good to know and understand your rights, taking this idea too far could worsen your situation. After all, the prospect of a drunk driving charge is serious enough and you don’t want to unintentionally wind up in more trouble.

People often get themselves in added trouble during a drunk driving stop because of things someone told them. Taking advice from the wrong person can have consequences. Here are a couple myths you may have heard:

  • Myth No.1: You don’t have to take a blood alcohol test. You agree to take a chemical test as a licensed state driver through implied consent. Failure to take a blood alcohol blood test can increase penalties, including further loss of your driver’s license.

It’s recommended to only submit to a blood test rather than a blood or field sobriety test. Field sobriety test have a high margin for error and breathalyzers can be unreliable if the officer cleaned the device with an alcohol-based solution.

  • Myth No. 2: You don’t have to answer any questions. Avoiding self-incrimination is the goal during a drunk driving stop. Ohio prosecutors charged a man with failure to comply during a drunk driving stop after refusing to identify himself to police and fleeing the scene after asking if the officer was detaining him.

The man had not been drinking but police found an unopened bottle of alcohol. It seems the police were unlikely to charge him with a crime had he provided basic personal information. You should not answer self-incriminating questions but should answer basic questions about your name and address. Besides, refusing to identify yourself may arouse police suspicions.

Know how to act

If the police stop you under suspicion of drunk driving, it’s best to know how to handle yourself. Politely and respectfully provide your personal information and refrain from asking potentially incriminating questions. Should the officer request you take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, decline in favor of a blood test but do not refuse all three.

Unfortunately, people have been in your position before and made mistakes. These mistakes can be examples you can use to encourage a more favorable outcome for you.

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Anthony M. Salerno, P.C.
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