Enjoying a night on the town may quickly turn sour if you get pulled over on your way home. Law enforcement officers have a variety of methods they use to try and gather evidence against you during a traffic stop. When it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may utilize some similar methods. Find out the most common ways the police try and build a DUI case against you.
Observation and Conversation
The police have stringent rules they must follow when it comes to pulling drivers over and conducting further investigation. In most states, the officer must have something called a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime before they can approach. Many officers opt to follow vehicles they assume are under the influence until the driver commits a traffic infraction, such as crossing a double yellow line or blowing through a stop sign. Once a police officer observes this, they are free to pull your car over.
Upon this, an officer will begin to question you in a seemingly innocuous conversation. The officer is observing the way you act, your appearance and whether or not you are exhibiting signs of being under the influence. Some of these signs include things like the odor of alcohol, slurred speech or bloodshot eyes.
Once the officer gathers a reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence, you will be asked to take part in a few roadside tests. These sobriety tests are intended to prove that you are unable to follow simple commands, including physical movements because you are under the influence. If you fail these tests, the officer will have further reason to believe you are unable to operate a vehicle safely.
After you fail the sobriety roadside tests, the officer will likely ask if you would take a breath or blood test to see if you have any alcohol in your system. A breath test may not detect illegal drugs, but it will detect alcohol. If you refuse, understand that you will immediately lose your license and be arrested. The officer will then obtain a warrant from a judge to have your blood drawn. Refusing to take a breath or blood test is against the agreement you signed when you received your driver’s license. Your implied consent was required to have a license, and thus you will lose it should you refuse.
DUI stops and charges vary based on the jurisdiction in which you live. This is why you should seek out a Civic Center San Francisco DUI lawyer to speak to should you find yourself in this situation.
Thanks to Hallinan Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and police methods for a DUI stop.