Should I Admit to Drinking If Stopped for DUI?

There are thousands of traffic stops each year in the Orlando area for DUI. Often a vehicle will be stopped for another type of traffic offense first. After being stopped, the police officer may determine that the driver has been drinking. The consequences for a DUI conviction are very serious so it’s important to do your best to handle the situation in the best way possible. The penalties for DUI conviction may include fines, suspension of your driver’s license, points on your license, increased car insurance rates, and even jail time. Remember that you aren’t guilty unless the judge finds you guilty once the matter goes to court. If a police officer stops you and thinks you may have been drinking several things may occur.

DUI Traffic Stop

The first thing that may happen after being stopped is the officer will ask to look at your driver’s license. If he already suspects DUI he may ask you several questions to determine whether you are driving while impaired. He may ask if you’ve been drinking. This can be a difficult question to answer because no matter what you say it can get you into trouble. It’s usually best to avoid this question altogether and allow the police officer to make his own determination based on your actions. If the officer thinks you may have been drinking he will ask you to exit the car and take some simple field sobriety tests. These may include some simple actions such as walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet, and standing on one leg.

DUI Tests

Field sobriety tests are subjective so they aren’t considered valid to determine DUI. If the officer feels, based on observation and field sobriety tests, that you are DUI he may put you under arrest. There are several types of DUI tests that may be performed to calculate actual blood alcohol content levels. The legal BAC in Florida is 0.08%. A breathalyzer test is frequently used to measure BAC. Other methods of measurement include blood or urine testing. Many people wonder if they should agree to submit to these tests. Florida has an implied consent law. By obtaining your driver’s license you are agreeing to submit to these tests if asked to do so by a member of law enforcement. Failing to submit to testing will result in additional charges and an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Fighting DUI Charges

If you’ve been charged with DUI it is best to seek assistance from an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to represent you at your first hearing (arraignment) where the charges will be officially made. Sometimes the evidence against you is weak and if so your lawyer will work to get the charges dropped. If you’ve been held in jail your lawyer will try to have your bail reduced or eliminated. Once your case goes to court your attorney will present your defense and if found guilty will try to get the least possible penalties. The sooner you involve an attorney the better your chances will be of a successful outcome. Every case is different, but an attorney with knowledge about handling DUI cases will be able to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. e