Common Mistakes Made by DUI Defendants
Individuals who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) often make several mistakes in defending against the charges against them. When advising DUI clients, our attorneys often have to advice that a defendant could have made certain requests but is no longer able to because a a deadline has been missed or a statement has been made that damages the case. At Parkman White, LLP, our office understands that an arrest for DUI is a unique and stressful experience and we can help make sure that you protect your rights after you are charged with DUI
Requesting An Administrative License Hearing
Most people are unfamiliar with the fact that being arrested for DUI is not just a criminal charge, but there are also civil issues. Specifically, being arrested for DUI will impact your ability to keep a valid driver’s license. . To prevent a license from being automatically suspended, an individual arrested for DUI has ten days to request an administrative hearing with the Department of Public Safety (DPS). These requests, while routine, are often confusing. Our office regularly represents clients in hearings with DPS and knows exactly what needs to done, and who needs to be contacted to have this hearing scheduled.
Refusing To Provide A Breath Or Blood Sample
If you provide a breath or blood sample when you are pulled over for DUI, there are serious issues. Unfortunately, under Alabama law, a defendant is also facing legal issues if they do not provide a breath or blood sample when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer. A refusal can result in your driver’s license being suspended for 90 days and/or an ignition interlock device being installed on your car for a period of two years. An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that is attached to a car. It prevents the car from starting unless the driver blows into the device. The device then tells whether the driver has any detectable alcohol in their system. Even after the car starts, an interlock device occasionally requires the driver to blow into the device again, as long as the car is below a certain speed.
If a driver does provide a breath or blood sample on the scene, and the sample shows a blood alcohol level of .15 or greater, they are subject to increased penalties. Specifically, the minimum penalties associated with DUI are doubled if a driver has a .15 blood alcohol level. The driver’s license will also be revoked for one year.
Making The Decision To Speak With Officers
Even if a driver is stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, you always have the right to remain silent. You are required to comply with the directions of the arresting officer, such as exiting the vehicle and providing license and registration. However, you always have the right to refuse to speak with the arresting officer by requesting that an attorney be present.
Taking Field Sobriety Tests
When an officer requests that a person suspected of DUI submit to field sobriety tests, the driver has the right to decline the tests. A field sobriety test is a test that does not involve a machine, but is instead given by an officer. This could include having the driver take off their shoes and attempt to walk in a straight line, or reciting the alphabet backwards. The problem with field sobriety tests is that the officer alone determines whether a driver passes or fails the test. The testing is purely subjective. However, even if you successfully complete the test, an officer could say that you failed because you took too long, or you exhibit some other behavior that showed that you were intoxicated.
If you are arrested for DUI contact the attorneys at Parkman White, LLP, to defend your rights.