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6 steps to take when stopped for DUI

Field sobriety tests are designed to fail, so lawyers usually advise not to take one. You have the right to refuse. You’ll be taken to jail, but your chances of beating a DWI rap increase, if you don’t take the test, say attorneys.

While NO ONE should ever drink and drive, anyone can be pulled over as a suspected DUI. If it happens to you, local lawyers have some good advice you might want to follow.

1. Be quiet

The police officer who pulled you over is someone who can arrest you and take you to jail. Be respectful and say as little as required. Admit to nothing. Remember, also, that these days everything is on tape. You don't want a judge or jury to see you being verbally abusive or uncooperative.

2. Do what the officer says

You have to get out of the car if asked by an officer of the law, and you have to provide your driver license, registration, and proof of insurance. You do not, however, have to answer questions or take a field sobriety test.

3. Don't take a field sobriety test

The tests are designed for failure, so it's best not to try. You'll probably go to jail for refusing, but the results cannot be used against you in court.

4. Don't do a breath test

Refusing a breath test most likely means a driver's license suspension. You are going to need a lawyer for this one. Taking the test if you have been drinking anything means even more trouble, so lawyers who specialize in handling DUI cases say don't do it.

5. Refuse a blood test without a warrant

Even on "No Refusal" weekends, you do not have to voluntarily submit to a blood test. If you refuse, officers are required to detail probable cause on a search warrant and a judge has to sign off on it. A lawyer can then fight the propriety of the warrant in court, and possibly suppress the blood test results as evidence.

6. Call an attorney

After you've been arrested, you'll have a chance to call an attorney. Your release will occur more quickly and your subsequent day in court will likely be more successful if you have legal representation.

You'll need to challenge your license suspension within 15 days from arrest. An attorney can make sure that happens correctly and on time and get you back behind the wheel for work and appointments.

Even being suspected of drinking while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be expensive. So whether guilty or not, either way you are going to need an attorney. The best advice of all is to have a designated driver or take a cab. You’ll avoid this problem altogether

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