A DUI charge is a serious crime that should not be taken lightly, or on your own. Law enforcement in Lake City has ramped up their efforts to combat drunk driving. Many areas have even set up DUI checkpoints in an effort to catch drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Whether law enforcement agents stop you at a checkpoint or not, you run the risk of putting your rights in jeopardy. The DUI lawyers at Koberlein Law Offices are prepared to defend you and your rights if you are charged with a DUI or related offense. It is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible.
You should never drink and drive, but you should understand your rights, and know what to do if you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Safely pull your car over
Erratic and unusual driving behaviors are one of the first indicators that will cause law enforcement agents to suspect someone of drunk driving. For example, behaviors such a swerving, sudden or frequent braking, and unsteady driving may be indicators that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you are stopped for suspicion of DUI, do not try to evade police. Carefully pull your vehicle to the side of the street in a location that is safe for you to do so. If you are suspected of driving while under the influence, any erratic behaviors may negatively affect your defense. The law enforcement agent that stops you is trained to look for specific behaviors that indicate you may be drunk, and may very likely have a video recording of your behavior.
Be ready to present your driver’s license, and vehicle insurance and registration when asked
The officer who stops you is allowed to request that you present this information. Be polite if and when you are asked to do so. You have the right to remain silent if the officer asks you questions, especially those that may be incriminating, like answering if you have been drinking.
Anything you say to the officer will very likely be included in his/her report and can ultimately be used in trial if it should come to that. Any questions the officer has for you would best be directed toy your Lake City criminal defense lawyer. Law enforcement agents will try to gather as much evidence against you, such as admissions of any wrongful behavior, to build a case against you.
Field sobriety exercises
In addition to what you may say when stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, what you do can also be collected as evidence and used to convict you of a DUI.
Most people have heard of field sobriety tests, like being asked to touch your finger to your nose, walk in a straight line, and recite the alphabet. While these are not scientific exams – they are sometimes inaccurate representations of how a person may behave while under the influence of drugs or alcohol – they give the officer more “evidence” that you may be intoxicated.
You are not under any obligation to perform a sobriety test, though if you decline you may give law enforcement an opportunity to interpret your refusal as guilt.
Lastly, law enforcement agents may try to collect chemical evidence against you by way of a breathalyzer. In the State of Florida, motorists are obliged to an “implied consent” law which means you must consent to a chemical testing of your breath or blood alcohol level upon the lawful stopping of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving.
If you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence and you refuse to comply with a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. Many people who are suspected of DUI refuse this test because it gives law enforcement the chemical evidence they need to successfully charge you with this crime. The criminal defense lawyers of the Koberlein Law Offices are ready to help defend you again DUI charges.
Connect with an experienced DUI lawyer in Lake City
The Koberlein Law Offices can provide you with a thorough analysis of your legal circumstances, and specialize in criminal defense cases, including DUI, among others.
KLO has two offices in northern Florida – one in Lake City, in Columbia County, and in Gainesville, located in Alachua County. The firm’s attorneys draw on their skills and expertise to focus their representation of clients’ needs to achieve the best possible outcome.