Getting pulled over for any reason can be scary, but especially if it’s for suspected driving while intoxicated. DUIs have serious, lasting consequences.
Knowing what to expect during a DUI stop can help keep you calm and avoid making any mistakes that could put a DUI charge on your record. Police officers are supposed to follow a general procedure during these types of stops. Familiarizing yourself with the process may help you if you are ever pulled over for a DUI.
DUI Stop Procedure
Every DUI stop begins with a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, such as driving while intoxicated. A police officer must have observed behaviors from you that would imply you are driving while under the influence. This can include swerving between lanes, making illegal turns and other erratic driving behaviors.
Once reasonable suspicion has been established and you are pulled over, the police officer will usually ask you a few questions and may require you to submit to a field sobriety test. This is in order to determine whether or not there are grounds for arrest. These tests can include:
- Walking in a straight line
- Tracking your eye movement with an object or flashlight
- Balance tests
You may also be asked to take a preliminary alcohol screening such as a breathalyzer test.
Then, if the police officer has gathered enough evidence, or probable cause, you may be arrested and required to take a chemical test such as a blood or urine test at a medical facility. After, you will be transported to a police station where you can ask for an attorney to help defend against any possible charges.
Dealing with a DUI charge is serious and the first step toward fighting one starts with your behavior during the DUI stop.