It's time for cookouts, fireworks, and probably a couple of refreshments. Be aware that law enforcement is on high alert on holiday weekends. Would you know what to do you if your car is pulled over after you've had a couple of drinks?
First, pull to the right side of the roadway as soon as you can do so safely. Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Do not begin to search for paperwork until the officer asks you to. After providing your identifying information, you have a right to politely inform the officer that you will not answer any further questions without first speaking to an attorney. Having said that-you are required to get out of the car if the officer asks you to do so. If you refuse, you can be charged with a crime.
Once you are out of your car, you have the right to politely refuse all roadside sobriety tests. You are not required to perform roadside sobriety tests and it is not a crime to refuse to perform the roadside sobriety tests. Just be aware that an officer can still arrest you, even if you refuse all field sobriety testing.
If you are arrested, you will be asked to submit to one or more chemical tests (breath, blood and/or urine) to measure your BAC. You can choose whether or not to submit to a chemical test, but you should be aware that, under certain circumstances, refusing the test itself may be a crime. Also, if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you face the possibility of a longer administrative license suspension (ALS). Further, if you have been convicted of another drunk driving offense within the last 20 years, the mandatory minimum jail sentence may be doubled.
On the other hand, if you submit to a chemical test and test results show you were over the legal limit, you are more likely to be convicted of an OVI than if you refuse to take the test. In most cases, the test results will be used as evidence of your guilt. Also, if you take the test and you have a BAC of more than .17, the mandatory minimum jail sentence will be doubled.
The best advice? Call our office as soon as the officer permits phone use. We have a 24-hr line and an attorney is always on call. So, before you partake in the holiday festivities, get our number in your phone! 614-444-3036