Los Angeles DUI Attorney
While law enforcement is constantly on the lookout for drunk drivers, special occasions, like St. Patrick’s Day, put police officers on especially high alert.
The Los Angeles Times reports that local police departments will be deploying extra officers on Friday March 17th until the following day in an attempt to curb drunk driving. Orange County officers will be vigilant in stopping drivers they believe to be impaired in specific areas where DUI arrests are common.
Between 2011 and 2015, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 252 people were killed in the U.S. in drunk driving accidents during the St. Patrick’s holiday.
What do I do if I’m stopped on suspicion of drunk driving?
If you happen to be stopped at a DUI checkpoint in California, the officer will ask you to put your window down and show them your driver’s license and registration before asking you several questions.
Officers look for several things in your response as evidence of drunk driving:
- The smell of alcohol coming from your car
- Difficulty answering the officer’s questions
- Fumbling with your license and registration
- The presence of any alcoholic beverages, drugs, or paraphernalia in the vehicle
- Slurred speech, red, watery eyes, and any other signs of impairment
While you are not under arrest when stopped by police—however, you still have the right to exercise your Fifth Amendment rights protecting your from self-incrimination. Essentially, you should refrain from answering the officer’s questions. While you are required to provide your license and registration, you should politely inform the officer that you would like to refrain from answering them.
Field Sobriety & Chemical Tests
The officer may then ask you to perform a field sobriety test. These tests are very subjective and usually are only used to support the officer’s belief that you are under the influence. While the officer will probably not inform you, there is no obligation to perform a field sobriety test. Thus, you should decline performing one.
If the officer asks to perform a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC), you will have your driver’s license suspended. Not taking a chemical blood or breath test can also give the officer cause to believe you are under the influence. If the chemical test shows your BAC to be 0.08% or higher, you will likely be placed under arrest.
Even if you are arrested, you still have rights. You need to act quickly in order to protect your freedom and your ability to drive. You will have 10 days from your arrest to challenge the automatic suspension of your license if you are charged with DUI. Contact a trusted Los Angeles DUI attorney as soon as possible to begin fighting your charges right away.
Contact Moaddel Law Firm and safeguard your future—(877) 375-8188!