Being pulled over by the police is a stressful situation, especially if the officer accuses you of driving under the influence. If they obtain enough evidence during this stop, they may have probable cause to make an arrest.
Once an officer decides to make a DUI stop in Bridgeport, there is often little you can do to change their mind. Instead, your focus should be on protecting your legal rights by seeking help from an attorney. A DUI lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could explain the relevant laws and inform you of your rights during traffic stops.
When Can Police Officers Make a DUI Stop?
Police officers have the right to make traffic stops if they have reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law has occurred. For instance, they could stop a person for driving at night without their lights on or failing to stop at a stop sign.
Many police officers will use these apparent violations as justification for a DUI investigation. Being under the influence of alcohol impairs a person’s ability to drive and may lead to erratic behavior. The officer may accuse the driver of erratic behavior to justify an eventual DUI arrest.
Additionally, police officers can demand that a driver submits to a blood/alcohol test. Connecticut General Statute § 14-227b says that being behind the wheel on a public road constitutes implied consent to submit to these tests. While drivers have the option to refuse these tests, this is a separate offense that comes with mandatory penalties.
How to Protect Your Rights During a DUI Stop
A police officer’s goal during a DUI stop is to gather evidence of a driver’s supposed intoxication. This is necessary to meet the state’s definition of driving under the influence of alcohol outlined in CT Gen. Stat. § 14-227a. The result of a blood, breath, or urine test is usually a large part of a prosecutor’s case. However, police officers have other means of gathering evidence of alleged intoxication, such as field sobriety tests. These are tests of physical and mental coordination used to assess a person’s impairment.
Everyone has the right to avoid self-incrimination, and participation in these tests can only serve to provide more evidence that justifies an arrest and future prosecution. While it may seem like participation could help convince a police officer to let a driver go, this is rarely the case. In most situations, the officer has already decided to make an arrest. Understanding what parts of a DUI stop in Bridgeport are mandatory and which are optional could help defeat a prosecutor’s future case at trial.
Contact a Bridgeport Lawyer to Learn More About Protecting Yourself During DUI Stops
Every stop for an alleged DUI could lead to serious consequences. A DUI conviction can bring penalties like potential jail time, heavy fines, and a mandatory loss of license. Knowing what to expect and how to protect yourself is critically important.
The most important thing to remember is that a stop is the first step toward an arrest. The police officer will try to get you to admit being drunk or provide other incriminating evidence. Some requests are unavoidable, such as participating in a blood, breath, or urine test. However, you can politely but firmly refuse participation in field sobriety tests. An attorney can provide more information about what happens during Bridgeport DUI stops and how to protect your rights. Contact Ruane Attorneys today to learn more.