WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN
AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING:
Obviously, the best advice is to not drive after you have
been drinking. However, consuming an alcoholic beverage and then operating a
motor vehicle in and of itself is not a criminal offense. It only becomes a
criminal offense if you have drank too much.
If you are stopped by an officer after having consumed an
alcoholic beverage, you should follow the following guidelines:
1. When responding to an officer’s signal to stop,
you should pull to the side of the road as quickly as possible without
jeopardizing the safety of you or any other person or property.
2. You should stay in your vehicle and be polite
3. You should not answer any questions regarding
whether you have been drinking, where, or how much was consumed and, if
asked by the officer, your reply should be "I respectfully decline to
answer any questions without my attorney being present".
4. You should respectfully decline to perform any
field sobriety evaluations that may be requested. These evaluations are
voluntary and there is no penalty for refusing to submit to them. These
tests include, but are not limited to:
a. Recitation of ABC’s
b. Counting forward or backward
d. Walk-and-turn or heel-to-toe
e. One-leg stand
f. Horizontal gaze nystagmus
g. Finger count
5. You should respectfully refuse to submit to any
preliminary breath test offered at the side of the
road. Refusal of a preliminary breath test is not a criminal offense. It
is merely a civil infraction punishable by a fine, similar to any other
6. You should indicate to the officer that if you
are to be given a citation then to please proceed with that so you may
be on your way and that if you are free to go, you wish to leave
immediately. If you are placed under arrest, do not consent to any
questioning or submit to any test without first speaking to an attorney.
7. If the officer requests a chemical test after
placing you under arrest, excluding a preliminary breath test, you
should consent to the officer’s request – as an unreasonable refusal
will result in a six month suspension of your driving privileges and six
points on your driving record. If you have any questions regarding the
test, you should request to contact an attorney prior to responding to
the officer’s request. After submitting to the test, you should request
an independent chemical test.
8. YOU SHOULD CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
For your convenience, this information is also contained on
the back of our business card.