DUI Investigations Begin Before You Are Pulled Over By Police

You Do Have To Exit Your Vehicle On Demand

When does my DUI actually start? Your DUI begins before the officer turns on their lights at that initial stop. The cop is watching your driving behavior and looking to see how you react to the lights. Do you slam on the brakes? Are you speeding up? Are you able to turn on your blinker, recognize that he’s got his lights behind you and pull over in orderly fashion?

When you are pulled over by an officer for a possible DUI, you’re only required to provide them with your operator’s license and registration, proof of insurance, normal stuff. So you don’t have to roll your window all the way down. In fact, all you have to do is just crack the window enough so that way you can provide them the required information. But however, if an officer asks you to step out of vehicle, you do actually have to exit the vehicle. You don’t have the right to sit in your vehicle. Virginia Supreme Court has been pretty clear on this that it’s an officer safety issue. So therefore they are allowed to ask you to step out of the car for pretty much any reason whatsoever.

I Only Had 2 Beers

Now, if the officer asks you if you’ve had anything to drink, he is conducting a DUI stop. Don’t think you’re going to be able to talk your way out of this. That’s not going to happen. So what the officer’s going to do is once you affirm that yes, in fact I’ve had the standard answer of, “I’ve had two beers,” the officer’s going to ask you to step out of the vehicle. What the officer’s going to do, is the officer is going to be watching to see how you exit the vehicle.  The officer is actually making mental notes of all the information.

The Police Officer Is Taking Notes

What the Officer is looking for:

  • Are you leaning on the door?
  • Are you using the car to assist you to get out?
  • Do you need the assistance of the vehicle in order to walk to the back of your car where they’re going to ask you to perform the field sobriety test?
    (Standard procedure for the officer is that they’re going to park far enough behind your vehicle so that way there’s space in between two vehicles for you to conduct a field sobriety test there in between the two cars.)
  • Were you fumbling when you were looking for your license?
  • Were you able to answer their questions clearly and appropriately?

I recommend not saying anything to the officer because the officer is going to state that when they interacted with you, you had glossy, bloodshot eyes and that you had slurred speech. Well, it’s hard for the officer say you had slurred speech when you didn’t respond to him verbally.

This is what they’re trained to do at the Police Academy is when they fill out the criminal complaint for the magistrate to charge you with driving under the influence is their goal is to be able to write bloodshot, glossy eyes, slurred speech, unsteady on their feet. That’s their goal is be able to write those answers. What you want to do is limit the amount of information they’re able to put on there so that way it strengthens your argument at trial. I got news for you.

Once an officer’s pulled you over and they’re going to pull you out of your car for DUI, they’re going to arrest you at that point. You’re going to be arrested. The question is how much evidence are you going to give them to actually convict you at trial? It’s a whole lot better to be arrested for DUI, be held overnight than it is to be convicted of a DUI and deal with the ramifications for a year.

Call Johnson Law Firm For Your DUI Case

We’re happy to share as much information with you as you’d like to obtain. We have a couple of consumer guides that would be helpful for you. How to Select a DUI Attorney in Virginia, as well as DUI Defense Blueprint, which is a book that I’ve written to assist people in understanding what their DUI defense is, so that way they can better interact with their attorneys. And if they want to, they actually take some strategies in that book and defend themselves because the book lays out what the strategies are and how to implement them. And it’s the same strategies I use when I go to trial.

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