So, what do you do if you have been pulled over for a DUI? Assuming the police officer had probable cause to stop you or if you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you need to be careful about how much information you give the police. While you should produce your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance when asked to do so, don’t incriminate yourself by answering any further questions.
Be polite and tell the officer you decline to answer any questions they have, such as “have you been drinking?” or “how much have you had to drink?” Many people will admit to a beer or two, which serves as an admission of guilt. Although the Miranda warning doesn’t apply in a DUI stop situation because you are not in custody, you don’t have answer questions that will result incriminating yourself.
Along with questions, you can refuse to do a field sobriety test. Again, be polite when you decline. Since there usually isn’t a camera capturing the FST, the only verification that a test was done and what they showed are in the police report written by the arresting officer. One of the most common field sobriety tests is the HGN or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. This test is conducted by following a finger up, down, left, only moving the eyes. The HGN is the best indicator of impairment, but you can refuse to take the test.
You can also politely decline the preliminary alcohol screening, called the PAS test. It isn’t among the required chemical tests that you will be given at the police station, but it is just another FST. However, if you already have been convicted on a DUI or are under the age of 21, you do have to take the PAS test.
Declining a FST makes it harder for police to develop probable cause, which is required in order to legally stop your vehicle. If probable cause isn’t proven, any charges can be dismissed. Also, contact one of the DUI lawyers in Los Angeles or criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles as soon as you can to help you against any charges you may face.