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DUI Defense: What to Do When Charged

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In case you find yourself faced with a decision that led you to drink and drive, and were suddenly pulled over for a suspected DUI – what do you specifically do?

The law enforcement officer will conduct a “DUI investigation” in your case.  One of the first things the officer will ask you is “Where are you coming from; where are you going.”  Once the officer starts asking questions, you can simply respond, “Officer, I have nothing to say”.   The information the officer asks about upon first contact with you is part of the investigation and what you say in response, will be used against you.  So, practice saying, “Officer, I have nothing to say.”   You must though provide upon request: your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance.

Next the officer will ask you to perform “roadside” maneuvers or roadside tests.  These are called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).  These are voluntary and you do NOT need to participate in taking these. You will not face any penalty if you refuse the roadsides.  Often the officer will state that if you don’t do them, he/she will have to arrest you.  If they threaten any arrest, then they are going to arrest you regardless of whether you perform the tests.  If they believe they have enough Probable Cause to arrest you without the roadsides being done, then doing them will not save you from being arrested.  By not agreeing to do the tests, this is called “refusing” the roadsides or “declining” the roadsides.

Refusing to perform the roadsides is different from refusing a Chemical Test of your blood or breath.  This next portion of the investigation is called the Express Consent advisement. During the DUI investigation the officer will advise you of Express Consent.  Essentially if you drive on the roads in Colorado you “consent” ahead of time to take a test of your blood or breath when asked by law enforcement if that officer believes you are driving under the influence.  In Colorado you will have as punishment for refusing a chemical test sixty (60) days of “no driving” if you lose the express consent hearing.  Regularly the “no drive” period is thirty (30) days so you simply sit out an additional 30 days if you refuse.

What no one is telling you is that if you do submit to a test of your blood or breath and your chemical test result is .15 or higher, then you will have the Interlock in your car for 24 months; if you refuse the chemical test, you will also have the Interlock in for 24 months.  Most people seem to have a test result of .15 or higher so if you refuse to take the chemical test, you will end up coming out about the same that if you did take the test.

The use of police “in-dash camera videos” or also, “body cameras” worn by law enforcement officers are critical to defendants.  These would record the investigation and interaction of you and the officer.  Unfortunately these are not used enough by law enforcement so we seldom have a true record of what happened and the courts are forced to rely on the testimony of the officers to prove the DUI charges.

How do you avoid being charged for something that may have just been a one time offense?  How do you find the right DUI defense attorney?  One thing is to remember, if a law enforcement officer smells alcohol or marijuana, you are going to get arrested.  So, focus on giving the officer as little evidence to use against you as possible.  So, when asked a series of questions, simply tell the officer, “I have nothing to say”; don’t participate in the roadside testing; and if you are going to submit to a chemical test, pick the blood as it is more reliable.

First of all, remember that attempting to try a DUI defense by yourself is a mistake.  There are lawyers, like a DUI Attorney in the Denver area whom you can contact and enlist for help and advice.  There is a DUI defense that can help you.

Your DUI defense attorney which you may find online will discuss with you all potential defense opportunities which could be used to defend your specific case and provide you with ways to get out of your exact charges. The right DUI Defense attorney will help you keep your license, reduce potential fines and keep your good name clean.

Remember that all is not lost even if you have been charged.  You can always find help somewhere and your charges can be contested, reduced or even eliminated with the help of a qualified Denver DUI Defense attorney.

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