Witchita DUI Defense Atorney

DUI Arrest Scenarios

You just had a couple of drinks after work, or a mimosa with the girls for Sunday brunch. But now you’ve been pulled over, and you’re wondering what will happen next. The best way to avoid this scenario is to never drink and drive in the first place—but if you ever find yourself in this situation, knowing what comes next can help you stay calm and composed and make smart decisions to protect yourself.

The Traffic Stop

You may be wondering how you were pulled over in the first place—you weren’t swerving, and you made sure you stayed at the speed limit. That may be true, but those aren’t the only reasons a traffic stop might occur. It is a police officer’s job to look out for signs of erratic driving, but they also have the power to pull you over and issue warnings for broken tail lights or other small infractions.

When a Traffic Stop Becomes a DUI Investigation

Once the officer has you stopped, he will ask you some questions. If everything seems above-board, he will send you on your way. But if he picks up on signs of intoxication—“probable cause”—he may decide to turn your routine traffic stop into a more thorough investigation. Probable cause is open to interpretation, and may be anything from open liquor containers in the passenger seat to red eyes and stumbling speech.

Silent and Polite

When you are speaking with the police officer, there are two important things to remember: always be polite, and try to say as little as possible. Why be polite? In the long run, being rude or defensive or belligerent will only give the officer more evidence of “erratic behavior” to use against you.

Equally important is silence. When an officer asks how much you’ve had to drink tonight, too many people freely offer up that they have had “only one or two” drinks, thinking that their honesty will be rewarded. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In Kansas, this kind of voluntary admission counts as “probable cause” and gives police even more reason to investigate further, no matter how much you’ve had. If an officer asks whether you’ve had anything to drink tonight, your best option may be to politely ask to speak with your lawyer instead.

Field Tests and Chemical Tests

If your officer has enough probable cause, he will probably ask you to take a field sobriety test. These famous tests involve standing on one leg, walking along a line on the road, and following a pen light with your eyes. What the officer won’t tell you is that these tests are stacked against you and have a reputation for being severely inaccurate even in the best conditions.

You may also be asked to take a roadside breath test. While certainly more objective than field tests, a breath test can also be rendered inaccurate if the machine is improperly calibrated, if you have food stuck between your teeth that might have absorbed alcohol, or even if you have simply burped within the last twenty minutes.

What to do? There are positives and negatives either way. If you are feeling extremely balanced, it may be worth it to go ahead and take the field tests. But be aware that you are not required by law to take these tests. When in doubt, politely ask to contact your attorney.

The Arrest

If you refused to take the field or breath tests, or if you took them and your officer has decided that you failed them, he will more than likely make the decision to arrest you. Remember to stay calm. Remember everything that has happened, remain silent, and contact an experienced Wichita DUI attorney as soon as you are able. A good attorney can assess the circumstances of your arrest and help to map the best game plan for your freedom, whether it means taking your case to trial or negotiating reduced charges. To get started, contact us and schedule a free consultation with a top Wichita DUI attorney today.