1. During a DUI investigation, you should politely refuse to answer any of the cop’s questions, including but not limited to where you are coming from, where you are going, what did you have to drink, how much…etc. The threat of jail usually prompts people to start talking, yet talking does absolutely nothing but make your conviction easier later on in court. Think about it, would you rather the state have verbal evidence from you, or none? We have Miranda rights for a reason. Exercise it!
2. If you are 21 or older and not on probation for a prior DUI, it is in your best interest to refuse a Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test (also known as the PAS Test). This on-scene breath test is completely voluntary. Don’t confuse this test with the breath test that you may be legally obligated to take (see Tip #4).
3. Field Sobriety Tests (also known as FST) are completely voluntary, and you should NEVER do them unless you are on probation for a prior DUI. The threat of jail usually prompts people to acquiesce to whatever the cop demands, but performing these exercises will simply make your conviction in court a lot easier later on, because you have voluntarily provided evidence the state can use against you.
4. If you are taken to a police station, you will be given the choice of a breath or blood test. Always choose the breath test, which is the less accurate of the two. That way, you have a better chance of challenging the results later on in court.
5. One can of 12 ounce beer, one 4 ounce glass of wine, or one shot of 80 proof hard liquor will each register about a .02% BAC for the average person. It takes approximately one hour for each drink to be eliminated from the body. Of course, this is assuming that the testing device is accurate, which is often not the case.
6. When questioned by a police officer, many people will intuitively say that they drank “many many hours ago.” While it is always best to remain silent, if you can’t resist the urge to talk, then at least don’t lie, because recent consumption of alcohol actually is one of the factors that may help you in attacking the breath machine later on; it renders the breath readings artificially high (ie. drinking 5 minutes ago is much better than saying you drank 5 hours ago).
7. Just because your car is in “park” doesn’t mean you will not be arrested / cited for DUI. If you feel necessary to pull over and rest, find a legitimate parking space instead of pulling over by the side of the road, which invites suspicion. Moreover, make sure the engine is turned off, and preferably the keys are not in the ignition.
8. If you have a strong odor of alcohol emitting from your mouth, use gum, not mouth wash, which often contains alcohol and not only increases your odor of alcohol but may also cause a breathalyzer to read a higher alcohol content. 9. Always make sure your headlights and brake lights are working properly, and your windows are not tinted. Police officers are already looking for every possible reason to pull you over; don’t give them a freebie.
9. Always make sure your headlights and brake lights are working properly, and your windows are not tinted. Police officers are already looking for every possible reason to pull you over; don’t give them a freebie.