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Steps to take if you have been arrested for a DUI

Sarasota residents know that driving after they have been drinking is illegal and dangerous. But everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes good people are arrested for DUI and traffic offenses. If a person is facing a drunk driving arrest, there are certain things that they should do.

If a person is pulled over for suspected drinking and driving, they should first pull over to a safe place. Then, be polite to the officer but don't answer any incriminating questions, such as how much you have had to drink. If you do answer questions, be sure not to lie. Also, don't make any sudden movements or reach for anything in the car. Keep your hands on the steering wheel.

It is often advised that a person should refuse a field sobriety test and a handheld breathalyzer test. The field sobriety test results are completely subjective based on the officer's opinion, and the handheld breathalyzer often are unreliable. A person should instead ask to have a chemical test completed at the station, preferably a breath test as they can be more unreliable and easier to refute the results in court.

After a person has been released from custody they should write down everything they remember about the night. This can include where they were, who they were with, and what they had to drink. They should also detail where they were pulled over and how the officer behaved. If they were read their Miranda rights and what type of DUI test they took. This would be an appropriate time to contact an attorney who specialized in drunk driving defense. An attorney can review the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop and subsequent BAC level testing and may be able to help reduce the charges against their client.

A DUI conviction can have a significant effect on a person's day-to-day life. There are serious penalties for a DUI that may include thousands of dollars in fines, license suspension, and jail time, among others. An attorney can help a person facing this charges by aggressively defending their legal rights.

Source: findlaw.com, "What to do during traffic stops", accessed on April 9, 2017

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D. Scott Rieth
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Bradenton, FL 34202

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