What Not to Do After Getting a DUI
Getting a DUI can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed by the thought of potential repercussions. However, try to remain calm because although there are many important steps to take after a DUI, it is also essential to know what NOT to do.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
You may know that you have the “right to remain silent,” but doing so takes careful effort. The responding officer will likely ask you many questions related to whether you know why you were pulled over, how much you have had to drink, where you were coming from, whether you will submit to field sobriety tests, etc. You are never required to incriminate yourself, which means answering these questions along with doing roadside tests is completely voluntary. In this situation, it is best not to lie but have a response ready. For example, “I’ve been advised not to respond to that question” or “I’ve been advised by my attorney never to take a roadside test like this.”
Do Not Submit to a Chemical Test
Although a police officer will typically ask you to take a breathalyzer test, you have the right to politely refuse under Colorado law. You have nothing to gain by complying with preliminary tests. Drivers nearly always fail, and it is just a way for police officers to gather more evidence of wrongdoing. However, it is important to know that once you refuse a breathalyzer, most often, you will be arrested, taken to a police station, and your license will be automatically suspended. There they will either administer a breath or a blood test, but even if you had submitted to a breathalyzer in the field, this is the likely outcome regardless. Once at the station, you must submit to a chemical test as a condition of holding a Colorado driver’s license. The advantage of waiting to take a blood test is that the machines used in breath tests are unreliable and may give a false positive even if you are below the legal limit.
Do Not Assume You Have No Defense to Your DUI Charge
Law enforcement can make arrests on assumptions, but it does not mean they are right. There are many possible defenses that can result in your DUI charges not holding up in court. For example, disputing the breathalyzer results or the “no driving defense.” The “no driving defense” simply asserts that you were not the person driving the vehicle. Your DUI lawyer can help you build your case on this defense, for instance, by proving your car was moving but you were not the driver or you were found stopped in a parked car without a collision having occurred.
Do Not Represent Yourself in Court
There is a far better chance of a favorable outcome in your case if you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. They will have the knowledge, experience, and resources to thoroughly investigate your case, and the evidence to determine all possible defenses and legal options you have available.