Being arrested for a DUI is a scary situation. There are probably 100 things running through your mind. If your arrest leads to a conviction, it could mean sanctions against your driver’s license, and it will affect your insurance rates and maybe your job. Before you have your day in court, you must have legal representation. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer knows the system and how to proceed to protect your best interest. So, what happens now? Many things can and will be used against you. Knowing your rights can help protect you.
The primary tests used to determine guilt or innocence is field sobriety and a breathalyzer. In some cases, a blood test can also be used. These examinations are designed to back the officer’s suspicion. The only problem is that the blood test is the only one that is full proof. Field sobriety assessments are very subjective, and even if you never had a drop to drink, you still may not pass them.
Standing on the side of the road trying to walk a straight line is an impossible task for many people. What about saying the alphabet backward? There are not many people that can do that when they are not intoxicated. These tests are tools to get the officer the proof they need to make an arrest.
However, most people do not know that they don’t have to subject themselves to these examinations. They cannot arrest you based on your refusal. Unfortunately, these skewed tests will be used against you in a court of law. If you do not have an attorney, then you may not know that you can fight against them. A good lawyer can have this evidenced quashed.
Your attorney will review the information they have against you. The legal intoxication limit in Illinois has a .08 percent blood alcohol level. How much do you need to drink to obtain this level? Well, it depends on the person and how their body metabolizes alcohol.
The rule of thumb is that one beer or glass of wine can lead to a legal intoxication. The discovery is key to winning your case. Is the information they have on you circumstantial? The blood test is the only examination that is full proof. If they did not offer you such an analysis, then the other tests can be viewed as subjective. There are three standard field sobriety examinations commonly used. They are:
•Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
•Walk and Turn Test
Officers rely heavily on these tests to make an arrest. However, there are other tools they can use to evaluate your level of impairment. All cruisers should have a portable breath test unit on board. While this gives them an indication, it does not mean that your blood alcohol level is what the PBT says. A good attorney will have these results thrown out of court. An officer who knows how to get a conviction will use a combination of the field sobriety and breath tests.
While there are many tricks and things that a good DUI attorney can use to have your case thrown out of court, they are not magicians. Your record will weigh heavily on the current situation. If you have two previous DUIs, then it is likely that saying the tests are skewed will have a negligible impact on the current situation.
Having an arrest on your record means probable jail time and an automatic license suspension. First-time offenders often can take a class to forgo jail time. Upon conviction, you will face criminal penalties and extended license reinstatement time.
The best thing you can do when in these situations is to refuse the field sobriety tests. No law states you must take these examinations. You do, however, have to take any chemicals tests the officers requests. You cannot refuse a blood alcohol test, but you can resist the breathalyzer. Never admit guilt, and try to say as little as possible.
Did you know that you do not have to subject yourself to any interrogations roadside? The fifth amendment protects your rights, and you do not have to incriminate yourself. When in doubt, “least said-best said.” Remember that anything you say to the officer can be used against you. They can say your words were slurred even if it was not, remember it is all subjective. Because so much of the process of conviction in these cases is based on the officers opinion, call an attorney as soon as possible.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn more about DUI by reading this wikipedia page.