Should You Admit to Drinking if Pulled Over?When you are pulled over by a police officer, your reaction could be to go into panic mode, especially if you have been drinking. You don’t want the officer to have any reason to suspect that you have been drinking, but unfortunately, it can be easy to slip up.
The police officer is there to do a job, and if they have any reason to suspect you have been drinking, they will take action. And anything you say and do could later be used against you in Court.
Remember, you have the right to remain silent, and sometimes it often it is in your best interest not to answer police questions.
A DUI is a serious charge, and if you have been arrested, then you should do anything in your power to lessen your conviction or have it dismissed. A DUI conviction will stay on your record for 75 years, and beyond the possibility of a hefty fine and jail time, it can hinder your long-term employment, insurance, and even housing prospects.
At The Ticket People, we will do everything in our power to help you with your DUI case. We value the attorney-client relationship and will guide you through the legal process and offer support every step of the way. There could be a weakness in your prosecution, which we can use to benefit you in your case.
We are open 24/7, so contact us today for a free consultation on 855-323-8488.
A police officer cannot pull you over without probable cause. Usually, when someone is arrested for a DUI, they were initially pulled over for a different traffic violation. Common examples include failing to stop at a traffic signal, improper lane usage, or speeding.
Once your vehicle has been stopped, the police officer can make judgments as to whether they think you have been drinking alcohol. Only if they have probable cause to think you have been drinking, can they then ask you to step out of the car and perform field sobriety tests. In The State of Florida, the legal limit for blood alcohol level is .08%.
If the police officer did not have sufficient reason to perform a field sobriety test, then this will be reviewed later by Court and could help to lessen your charge, or even have it dismissed.
Almost every police car in Florida has a dash camera, which records everything that happens. Police officers themselves often also have cameras on them. That means that when you get pulled over, everything you say and do will likely be on tape and can be used against you in Court.
Therefore, you should generally avoid answering questions until you have spoken to a lawyer.
If a police officer asks if you have been drinking or where you have come from, then, you must be careful about how you answer. Anything you say could be used as evidence in Court and can give the officer grounds to perform a field sobriety test.
However, it isn’t easy to determine how to answer questions; each circumstance is different. If you were drinking, but you say no, but you have slurred speech or the officer can smell alcohol, then they will still have probable cause to perform tests and will note that you lied to them.
If you do admit to drinking alcohol, then that is enough for them to perform proper tests. Therefore, neither answer will get you out of the situation. Many people will admit to drinking but claim that it was just one or two and that it was several hours ago. However, this could still be enough for police to investigate further with field sobriety tests.
There may be no right or wrong answer. However, you can always refuse to answer the question. Under a Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona (1996), you are not under a legal obligation to answer any questions and have a constitutional right to remain silent. You could say that you will not answer questions about drinking, under advice from your lawyer. When you refuse to answer police questions, you do not give them sufficient cause to arrest you, unless they have other reasons to suspect a DUI.
You should understand that a police officer is permitted to lie to make you talk to them, they can tell you that you can go if you answer their questions, or you won’t get in trouble, but this is likely a lie. On the other hand, you are permitted to remain silent and not say anything to discriminate yourself.
Of course, you should never drink and drive. However, if you are pulled over, and you have been drinking alcohol, our advice is to say as little as possible. Anything you say could give the police officer sufficient grounds to arrest you and do a chemical test.
Instead, contact a The Law Place as soon as possible and seek professional advice.
Do not let one mistake impact you for the rest of your life, seek help from experienced Florida DUI lawyers to give yourself the best chance of having your case dismissed, or your charges lessened.
We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can seek advice when you need it most.
Call us now for a free consultation on 855-323-8488.
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