What to Know About Getting Pulled Over on a DUI Charge – WA
Getting pulled over is a horrible feeling, but here are some tips to remember so you are prepared and educated if you are ever pulled over on a DUI charge.
Being Pulled Over
Right when you see the offices lights in your rear view mirror turn your blinker on to indicate you’re aware of the officer and find a safe place to pull over. Once you are pulled over, turn off the radio and get your drivers’ license and insurance card out, separate from your registrations or any other documents, so you are alert and able to concentrate on the officer. Remember to be polite and respectful of the officer, refer to him or her as sir and ma’am. Remaining calm and acting polite to the police could potentially help you in your case.
Taking Sobriety Tests
If asked to participate in any field tests decline, they can be subjective; instead ask the officer to show you the results of a Portable Breath Test (PBT). The PBT is not admissible in trial in Washington except to show probable cause for your arrest, if over the limit you will take a real breath test at the station.
Remember don’t answer any question that you don’t have to, if you’re unsure ask the officer if the question he is asking is required. Citizens are not required to answer questions that are designed to be incriminating. If not answering a question is intimidating you may say that you would rather wait for your attorney.
At the Station
If you are taken down to the station you will be asked to take a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test , if you decline the test you will lose your driver’s license for a year. There are two options: take the test and try to suppress it in court, or don’t take the test and go to trial on a “refusal” case.
When taking the test, the machine requires a certain amount of air; when a long breath derivers from deeper in your lungs it can cause a higher blood alcohol reading. Officers will not always tell you when to stop breathing; therefore it may cause a slightly higher reading.