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Avoid These Common Mistakes When Pulled Over for DUI in California

Driving under the influence is a severe offense in California, and being pulled over for suspicion of DUI can have severe consequences. At Wapner Jones, PC, we believe individuals must be aware of common mistakes to avoid during a DUI stop to protect their rights and navigate the legal process more effectively.

Mistake #1: Admitting Guilt Too Soon

One of the most common mistakes people make when pulled over for DUI is admitting guilt too soon. It is essential to remember that you have the right to remain silent. While it is important to be respectful to law enforcement officers, you are not obligated to incriminate yourself. Politely declined to answer potentially self-incriminating questions and requested to speak with an attorney.

Mistake #2: Noncompliance with Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are designed to evaluate a driver's level of impairment, but their subjectivity makes them less than foolproof. In California, you can refuse these tests without immediate penalties. Politely decline to participate in field sobriety tests as a poor performance may be used against you in court.

Mistake #3: Agreeing to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) Test

Drivers over 21 in California are not obligated to take a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test during a DUI stop. This optional portable breathalyzer test can be refused without facing additional penalties. Notably, the results of PAS tests can be unreliable and may not hold up in court.

Mistake #4: Not Requesting an Independent Blood Test

If you are arrested for DUI and asked to take a chemical test, such as a blood test, you can request an independent blood test at your own expense. This can be crucial in case the initial test results are inaccurate or if you believe there may be errors in the testing process.

Mistake #5: Failure to Document the Stop

It is crucial to document the details of the DUI stop. If possible, note the time, location, weather conditions, and other relevant factors. Additionally, try to remember the officer's badge number and name. This information can be valuable in building a defense case later on.

Mistake #6: Talking Too Much

While being cooperative and respectful during a DUI stop is essential, talking too much can be detrimental. Avoid volunteering information that could be used against you. Answer basic questions, such as providing your identification and vehicle registration, but refrain from offering unnecessary details that may be misconstrued.

Being pulled over for DUI demands a cautious and strategic approach. Individuals can better safeguard their rights and navigate the legal process more effectively by steering clear of these common mistakes. If facing DUI charges, consulting with an experienced attorney who can offer guidance tailored to the specific situation is vital. Understanding your rights and maintaining composure during a DUI stop can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Contact Wapner Jones, PC, today to learn more!