Christopher Jackson has been practicing as a Cincinnati and Kentucky DUI Lawyer since 2003, I have learned that many people often beat themselves up (so to speak) about specific things they did or did not do or say during the police investigation and their subsequent arrest for driving under the influence. The following list is meant to provide some guidance to help minimize the chances of suffering a DUI conviction should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being stopped for a DUI.
1. Remain Calm - When you are being stopped by the police it is extremely important to remain as calm as humanly possible. I know this is far easier said than done but the more relaxed you stay, the more clearly you will think. This will only serve to help you remember what you need to do and be more effective during the investigation.
2. Be Nice and Cooperative - There is absolutely no point in having an attitude ...it just guarantees that you will be taken to jail. Once the DUI investigation begins, the police are going to do whatever they are going to do. Nothing you say or do will make the police let you go. Therefore, you might as well be nice and cooperate. The police will not only treat you better but may even write a better report ...one that may actually reflect what happened and doesn't make you look so bad, which could make it easier for your Kentucky DUI Lawyer.
3. Do Not Make Any Unnecessary Statements - When you get stopped, the officer will ask you for your driver's license and registration. They will also ask you for some basic personal information such as name and date of birth. This information is okay to provide. As the investigation continues, the police will begin to ask you some more specific DUI related questions such as if, when and what you had to drink. Do NOT answer these questions! Instead, politely tell the officer that you "have been advised by your Kentucky DUI Lawyer not to answer these types of questions and would like to exercise your right not to do so." Now, don't be surprised if the police get upset and try to bully you ...this is not unusual. Anything you tell them will be used against you and the last thing you want to do is lie ...especially if you have been drinking and tell them you haven't been. The fact of the matter is that anything you tell them can only serve to hurt your case.
4. Decline to Perform the Field Sobriety Test - Field Sobriety Tests (commonly referred to as FSTs) are a series of balance and coordination tests used by the police to help them determine if someone is under the influence. As your Kentucky DUI Lawyer, I will tell you that: You do NOT have to take these tests. Although the police rarely, if ever, advise that you have the right to refuse these tests ...the fact is that you do. Your performance on the FST's will only serve to work against you as police often reflect a poor performance in their report regardless of how you actually did on them.
5. Decline to Take the (PBT) Test - This is a breath test that is administered by the police at the scene. The police have you blow in a little hand-held plastic device that is supposed to give them a reading on your blood alcohol content (BAC). Aside from being completely unreliable, you actually have the right to refuse this test even thought the police will never tell you that.
However, if you really did only 1-2 regular drinks, then you should consider taking the PBT on the side of road. This test is not reliable enough to be used against you in court but if you blow a low BAC reading then the officer may actually let you go. I have represented many clients that "wish" they had taken the test because they really only had 1-2 drinks. Call or email your DUI Lawyer if you have any questions.
6. Take A Breath Test After the Arrest - If the officer ultimately decides to arrest you for DUI, you will have the choice of submitting to a breath test or refusing it. A good DUI Lawyer will tell you that you should not take the breath test, BUT if you refuse the test you will face additional penalties. In Kentucky, the court will give you a pre-trial suspension and will not give you any driving privileges at all. In Cincinnati, you are not eligible for driving privileges for 30 days and you will face a 1 year license suspension vs. just a 6 month license suspension for taking the test. Should I Take the Breath Test?
If you did drink too much and are under the influence, then you have a decision to make: 1) Take the breath test and make it very difficult to beat the DUI conviction or 2) refuse the test and give yourself a chance to beat the DUI conviction but you will get an extra license suspension, no driving privileges at all in Kentucky, possible interlock and face greater penalties.
7. Call an Experienced DUI Lawyer - The entire experience of being arrested for a DUI is less than pleasurable to say the least. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe and have a substantial impact on your life. DUI cases are highly technical matters. It can only serve you well to have proper DUI Lawyer to help guide and defend you against a potential conviction.
Call (513) 861-8000 in Cincinnati or (859) 261-1111 in Kentucky.
You can also email your DUI Lawyer, Chris Jackson, directly at [email protected].