If you’ve been pulled over due to suspicious behavior by a police officer, it’s their job to gather as much evidence they can to justify their suspicion. Without gathering sufficient evidence, the officer won’t have a strong enough case to prosecute you with a DUI.
After being pulled over, the officer is going to start with a few questions, hoping you’ll incriminate yourself, eventually leading up to a breathalyzer test. This is where things can become especially tricky. You might believe that by refusing to blow will help you avoid a DUI conviction, however, you’re just adding on to the challenges you’re already facing.
Or, you might feel compelled to cooperate no matter the demands of the officer in charge. They ask you if you’ve had a few drinks, and you say ‘Yes’, they ask for you to blow into the breathalyzer and you comply, they ask you to walk in a straight line, and you concede. You should know your rights in this situation, and our Asheville DUI defense lawyer will walk you through those and help you if you are in fact charged with a DUI.
What are the Police Looking For
If the police ever stop you for suspicions of driving while intoxicated or impaired faculties, they begin taking mental notice on what they’re observing in your behavior or what they can see or smell in your vehicle:
- Do you smell of alcohol
- Are your motor skills impaired when fetching your license and registration
- Is there a smell of marijuana
- Do you have bloodshot eyes
- Can you speak coherently or are all of your words slurring together
- Can you move about unassisted
- Did you commit traffic violations before being pulled over, such as running lights or swerving dangerously
If any of these questions come back positive, then this evidence is only adding to the police officer’s case against you.
Should You Submit to A Sobriety Test
There is a common misconception that most people hold, and it’s that they can persuade a police officer that they are in the right. Maybe they’re a smooth talker, or they believe that they’re legitimately not so impaired that it would affect their driving.
You have to keep in mind, that if you’ve been pulled over, the officer has already made a judgment and is just looking for evidence to corroborate it. Whenever a police officer questions you, you should have legal counsel to educate you on your rights. By answering questions, walking lines, following their flashlight with your eyes, you’re never going to amaze them.
If you walk a line, you’re not going to walk in such a perfect manner that they apologize and let you move on your way. These are just techniques to get you to let your guard down and incriminate yourself.
You might feel compelled to comply with every request that an officer makes because you believe that not doing so means an admission of guilt. This is the same reasoning many people concede to unwarranted searches and seizures. Everyone knows that an officer needs a warrant to search their premises or vehicle, yet, you think that by allowing them to go through your vehicle, you’re helping your situation.
Sometimes, the officer may try a different tactic to gather evidence. They may ease you into giving evidence by appealing to your sensibility. The officer may take a friendly or weary tone, implying that this is just another routine stop that they don’t want to perform, but just need to get it out of the way. This frequently happens at speed traps. While their tone suggests that you’ll soon be on your way home, in actuality, it’s just to give cause to initiate an arrest.
Which Sobriety Test is Mandatory
By holding a North Carolina driver’s license, you’ve already agreed that you will perform a breath test if ordered by a police officer. If you refuse, then your license will automatically be suspended for one year regardless of whether you’re convicted of a DUI.
Refusing to blow will also give the officer enough cause to request a blood sample warrant, at which point you’ll be taken down to the station for the withdrawal. It used to be a good idea to wait for a blood test warrant in lieu of a breath sample because it would take enough time for a judge to sign off on it that your blood alcohol content (BAC) could have fallen below the legal limit. However, this is no longer the case, since many police stations can expedite the process of obtaining a warrant. With the advances in technology, police officers can now generate an “e-warrant” that can be signed off on by a judge almost instantly.
Before you submit to questioning, you need to learn your rights. It’s the police officer’s responsibility to prove that you’re driving under the influence, it’s not your job to disprove it. To make sure that you don’t fall for police tactics, call an Asheville DUI Lawyer, and discuss your case today!