What You Can Expect at a DUI Stop in Port St. Lucie
Hearing a police car’s siren and seeing the flashing lights in your rearview mirror is always scary. You may not understand why a police officer is pulling you over, but there is always a chance that it is for a suspected DUI. It is important to know this, and to know what steps to take in the event this is the reason for the stop. If the officer is pulling you over for a suspected DUI, your actions can either help or hurt your case.
Understanding Probable Cause
Police officers cannot pull drivers over for no reason. Unfortunately, sometimes they do in the hope that they will see or obtain evidence that can result in an arrest or criminal charges. To pull you over, police officers must have probable cause, or a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has taken place, or is about to take place. For example, driving erratically, weaving in and out of lanes, and driving too quickly or too slowly are all examples of behavior that may give a police officer probable cause to pull you over.
After you have stopped and the officer has approached the vehicle, they will start to look for signs that you are driving under the influence. They may try to smell the odor of alcohol, they may listen for slurred speech, or they may look for red eyes. While it is intimidating to be questioned by police, it is important to remain calm and answer their questions as best you can. Never admit you were drinking and do not say anything else that could incriminate you. Do ask if you are under arrest and if so, ask what the charges are.
Field Sobriety Tests and Chemical Tests
During a DUI stop, the officer may ask you to submit to field sobriety tests or a chemical test. Field sobriety tests include the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test. It is important that you do not perform these tests when asked. You are under no legal obligation to and because they are highly subjective, the officer may ask you to perform them only to secure more evidence against you.
On the other hand, you must submit to chemical tests such as the Breathalyzer or a blood or urine test when a law enforcement officer requests that you do. Under Florida’s implied consent laws, you could face an automatic suspension of your driver’s license if you do not comply, even if you are found innocent of the DUI charges.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Florida Today
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Florida, it is of the utmost importance that you speak to a knowledgeable Port St. Lucie DUI lawyer. At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys have the skill and knowledge to defend against these charges and will help you retain your freedom. Call us today at (772) 905-8692 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about the DUI defenses available for your case.