All Connecticut police officers are trained on the National Highway Transportation Agencies manual, which contains a section on what to look for before pulling over a car. This includes starting too soon from a traffic light, proceeding inordinately fast or slow, weaving within their lane, or failing to make a proper directional signal. Any of these actions can lead to you being pulled over.
The police will then approach the car and observe whether you are fumbling, stumbling, slurring your speech, or smelling of alcohol. They will ask if you have had anything to drink and will often request field tests regardless of your answer. It is important to understand your rights in these scenarios and know when to call a DUI attorney. To learn more about DUI stops and arrests in New Britain, reach out to Ruane Attorneys today.
The DUI Stop Process in New Britain
When a driver is pulled over for suspected DUI, the police officer will tell them to stay in the car but put their hands somewhere where the police can see them. The officer will then ask them to show their license and registration. They may see any fumbling as evidence of intoxication.
The police officer will likely ask if the driver has had anything to drink. A driver does not have to answer any of the officer’s questions other than identifying themselves. If the driver says they have had anything to drink, regardless of the amount or circumstances, they will likely be arrested.
One mistake to avoid during a DUI stop is talking too much to the police officer or trying to talk your way out of an arrest. Drivers have the right to remain silent and only provide police officers with basic identifying information.
Vehicle Searches and Field Tests after a DUI Stop
Police officers often want to search the vehicle. The legality of a vehicle search depends on the circumstances. Often, body cam footage reveals illegal vehicle searches, resulting in evidence being suppressed in court. As our local lawyers can explain, drivers do not have to consent to a vehicle search after a DUI stop or arrest. Police officers may proceed anyway, but it is best to say, “No, I do not consent to a vehicle search.” More evidence may be admissible in court if the vehicle is searched by consent.
Like vehicle searches, drivers do not have to consent to field sobriety tests after a DUI stop. Agreeing to field sobriety tests can be a mistake, as police can use failures of these field tests as evidence of intoxication. Our New Britain attorneys have seen many cases thrown out for lack of evidence because the driver refused a field sobriety test during the DUI stop.
Calling a Lawyer for a DUI Stop and Arrest in New Britain
You can ask to speak to a lawyer while still on the roadside, but officers usually do not allow this. They may say, “We’ll save that for the police station.” By that time, you will have already been arrested.
It is best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after a DUI stop and arrest in New Britain. In the meantime, comply with the police officers but do not offer additional information. Ruane Attorneys could work to protect your rights during the legal procedure and minimize the impact of this event on your life. Call us today to get started on your defense.