DUI stops in Plantation could be frightening and confusing. Many people wonder what their rights are under the law and how they can protect themselves against intense Police scrutiny. Police Officers have broad powers to stop drivers when they suspect a violation of the law has occurred. They can also demand you submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if they believe you have consumed alcohol.
However, there are also steps you can take to protect yourself. Beyond providing basic information about who you are, you have the right to remain silent during these stops. You can also refuse to participate in any field sobriety test that an Officer may request. These measures could help defeat a Prosecutor’s case at an eventual DUI trial. Our DUI Attorneys can protect your rights.
Examining the Legal Basis for a Traffic Stop
Police Officers have the authority to enforce local and state traffic laws. This includes simple concepts such as speed limits, lane violations, and stopping at red lights. It also includes making traffic stops if there is reason to believe that a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A Police Officer making a traffic stop must have reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation has occurred. Since it is impossible for an officer to directly observe a driver before a stop, they often justify a stop by alleging a driver was swerving on the road, traveling too fast or too slow, or driving without headlights at night. Challenging the reason for a traffic stop in Plantation as being unreasonable is the first line of defense in many DUI cases.
What May an Officer Demand from a Driver After a DUI Stop?
Florida Statute § 316.193 prohibits people from operating a vehicle on public roads while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Especially if a Police Officer makes a traffic stop based on their observations of erratic driving, that Officer will attempt to gather more evidence about supposed intoxication.
A driver must provide certain information to a Police Officer under the law. The Officer has the right to demand to see a driver’s license as well as obtain basic identifying information about the driver. Plantation is also in an implied consent state. Under Florida Statute § 316.1932, all drivers must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test if the Officer requests it after a DUI arrest. While it is possible to refuse this test, doing so is a separate criminal offense that comes with an automatic license suspension.
Beyond participating in these two steps, it is always advisable to avoid conversations with Law Enforcement in Plantation during DUI stops. Every word from a person’s mouth may become evidence in an eventual trial. It is also reasonable to politely refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. Common examples of balance tests, memory games, and eye-tracking tests are imprecise. Furthermore, all people have the right to avoid self-incrimination. These tests will only hurt a person’s chances of avoiding arrest and prosecution. If a Police Officer has made a stop and requested a field sobriety test, there is little a driver can do to prevent an arrest.
Knowing What to Do During DUI Stops in Plantation Could Be the First Step Toward an Effective Defense
DUI stops in Plantation are often the first step toward an arrest and eventual Trial. Knowing how to protect yourself and limit the information that a Police Officer may collect is crucial.
While it is impossible to avoid much of the process without providing personal information and submitting to a blood, breath, or urine test, it is possible to protect yourself by offering as little other information as possible and declining to participate in field sobriety tests. Understanding this information could help you protect yourself in the present and future. Reach out to Leifert & Leifert now to learn more about your legal rights.