25 Apr 2016
What Not to Say During a DUI Stop
Posted By Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez
Drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. Unfortunately, common sense, safety, and DUI laws don’t always intersect. In fact, you can be arrested for drunk driving without actually being drunk behind the wheel. According to Florida Law §316.193, driving under the influence includes the following situations:
- Driving under the influence of “alcoholic beverages” or a chemical substance (drug)
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more (.08 grams of alcohol for every 210 liters of blood)
- Driving with a breath alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit (.08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath)
In other words, you don’t actually have to be drunk to get arrested; law enforcement simply has to prove your blood or breath content was above the legal limit (.08%).
Protect Your Rights During a DUI Traffic Stop
If you’re pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you’ll probably feel pressured to answer questions. These might include, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” and “Have you been drinking tonight?” You are not obligated to answer these questions, especially if the answer could incriminate you. Be polite and courteous, but speaks as few words as possible while interacting with the officer. Remember: After you’ve been pulled over, everything you say and do could mean the difference between being arrested, acquitted, and convicted.
Agreeing to sobriety tests is one of the biggest mistakes you can make during a DUI stop, next to admitting guilt. Law enforcement rarely informs drivers of this fact, but standardized field sobriety tests are voluntary. This means you don’t have to complete them if you don’t want to. In reality, these test methods are flawed and highly subjective. In most cases, performing a field sobriety test will hurt your case more than it will help. Instead of performing the test, politely decline.
What to do If You’re Arrested for DUI in Tampa, FL
Facing any criminal accusation is hard, whether you have prior offenses or a clean criminal record. The first step toward defending your rights is calling a lawyer. At Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez, our Tampa DUI defense lawyers can help you get to know your legal options after an arrest. During your first consultation, which is free, you can speak with a member of our legal team and determine the best option for your case. For more information, get in touch with Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez today.