In today’s episode Chuck talks about how you should invoke your rights during a DUI stop. He also talks about which tests must be performed and which ones you do not have to do when stopped.
This is the second part of my DUI Informative Video.
So, lets assume that a police officer has made contact with you, you’ve done what I have told you to do in the past, you’ve kept your mouth shut and he tells you “Get out of the car.”
You have to get out of the car. Don’t sit there in the car. That is a simple instruction, it must be followed.
If you do not get out of the car voluntarily, he’s going to pull your ass out of the car, and god knows what is going to happen after that.
So get out of the car. Then he is going to probably say in this order:
I want you to do some field sobriety tests.
Field Sobriety tests consist of standing on one foot with your leg out about six inches off the ground and counting to thirty. Don’t do it.
He’s going to ask you to look at a stimulus (typically a pen) and tell you to follow it with your eyes. Nobody passes or fails that test.
Too many people think that by following the pen “Oh I passed it!” That’s not what they are looking for.
They are looking for what is called Nystagmus which is a jerking action (of they eye). The test is called a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. Do not do that. Tell the police officer that you do not want to.
He wants you to do a walk and turn test where you walk along a straight line. Don’t do it.
The one thing that I can tell you, by invoking your rights relative to not having to do those, they can comment on that in front of a jury, which is really sad. Your fifth amendment right to keep your mouth closed does not go to actions. In other words walk in a straight line, so they can comment on it.
If you have been drinking and you do field sobriety tests, you’re trying to walk a straight line that maybe doesn’t even exist. or you’re keeping your leg up in the air, or trying to touch your nose; you are not going to pass in that cop’s opinion. You are always going to fail.
Or he is going to take an accumulation of everything that he has seen, the odor of alcohol, watery bloodshot eyes, maybe a slight swerve within your lanes on the road, the fact that you could not do the field sobriety test, at least according to the police officer. They’re going to take that, and lump it all together, and say now I have probable cause to arrest you and they will. Now you have done way too much, made my job much harder, and the chances of you getting acquitted if you end up going to trial are slim.
Your obligation to give a blood or breath test, or a urine sample is sort of endless. You have to do that. You are obligated to do that if he asks you and you are under arrest. You have to be under arrest for your obligation to kick in. If you’re not under arrest you don’t have to give a blood, breath, or urine sample.
Case in point: he might have a little portable breath testing device (they’re about this big) and he will have you blow into it at the scene, to give him probable cause to show the presence of alcohol. Don’t do it, you have no obligation to do that.
But if somehow he manages to place you under arrest, then you are under the obligation to give blood, to blow into a big machine (typically called an intoxilizer 8000) at the station or in a DUI van, or give urine if it is possibly a drug case. Whether it be pot or Xanax, whatever. You have to do it.
If they want you to do a breath test, a blood test, and a urine test, you have to do all three. There is no limit.
If you don’t do it, if you refuse: One, they’re going to get it. They ‘re going to get a search warrant. I have never seen a search warrant refused yet. Or had a judge not sign one when the police went to go get one. Once they get that, a jury will hear about that. A jury will hear about how you refused. A Jury Instruction that the jury will read and take the facts of what they’ve heard in a court room is weighed against you. In other words, if you refuse to do something that you are obligated to by law, which is give blood, breath, or urine, and you don’t do it voluntarily, which you have to. That is a condition of having a driver’s license in Arizona.
Then it’s going to look bad for you in front of a jury. So you have to do that. Win, lose, or draw, whatever the reading is, deal with that in a court room down the road, but you’ve got to do it.
So, if you do those things, and if you’ve done them the way I have said to do them; ninety nine out of one hundred times you wont be booked, they’ll write you a ticket, they’ll call you a cab or an Uber or whatever, and send you on your way.
If you’re a jerk, you’ve been uncooperative to the point where you’ve been rude, nasty, fought with the police, whatever; you’re going to jail and you’re going to spend the night in jail and get out the next morning.
So you can avoid that. I have even seen police officers drive people home because they have been pleasant enough and cooperative enough that they have done that. I have actually seen it happen more often, I don’t know why but I have.
Always, they’ve got a crummy job, but they’re accusing you of something. You may not have done it you might have totally clean hands. But again, listen to my advice, be nice, and things will go better for everybody down the road.
If you have been pulled over for a DUI stop you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights. Our criminal investigators will work to gather all of the evidence from your DUI Stop and interview all of the police officers involved to ensure that your rights were not violated. If you have been charged with a crime after a DUI Stop call us today at 480-545-0700!