Raleigh, Wake County, NC Attorney for Drunk Driving Defense
If you had a few drinks and an officer pulls your car over in North Carolina, please consider this.
1st DON'T HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. Remain silent. The officer will ask you questions to get you to admit facts that help the court find you guilty of driving while impaired.
If you tell the officer where you are coming from, the officer will testify you came from an area where alcohol was available.
If you admit you drank alcohol, then all the court has to find is that you drank too much.
If you tell the officer where you are going, the officer may testify you were confused because you were not taking the most direct route to your destination.
If you say you haven't had anything to drink and test positive for alcohol, then court will conclude you lied to hide your impairment.
2nd ASK THE OFFICER IF YOU CAN LEAVE. Some of your constitutional rights begin only after you are detained by the police, even if that detention takes place in your motor vehicle. If an officer says ‚ YES you may go‚ then you should leave. If the officer says ‚ NO‚ then you are now detained and have the right to the advice of an attorney and the right to be free from unreasonable detention.
3rd DON'T DO ANY ROADSIDE SOBRIETY TEST. To prove your impairment, the officer will ask you to perform some field sobriety tests like walking a line or standing on one leg. In my experience, most people cannot perform these tests correctly under the best conditions. What is the chance you can perform these tests correctly on an uneven surface, in the dark, late at night, when you are tired and nervous about being stopped by the police? All of these roadside tests are VOLUNTARILY. That means you DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THESE TEST. Tell the officer no thank you. Refusing these test means you are thinking clearly enough to know your legal rights. No police officer, no prosecutor and no judge would ever agree to perform these tests. You shouldn't either.
4th ASK TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER. When you ask to speak to a lawyer, the law requires the officer to stop questioning you about suspected criminal activity. You should still give the officer your name, address, telephone number and date of birth but nothing more. Wait for your attorney, the expert on DUI laws, to give guidance on how to navigate this process.
5thSHOULD YOU TAKE THE BREATH TEST AT THE POLICE STATION? You are not legally required to submit to the breath test at the jail. But refusing will ensure that you are charged with DWI and allow the North Carolina DMV to suspend your driver's license for one year even if you are found not guilty.
A blood alcohol content, or BAC, result under 0.08% means you probably won't be charged with D.W.I. If you believe you may blow under a 0.08%, then you should blow.
A result of 0.15% or greater means you are required to have an alcohol-testing machine installed in your car for one year. Some people believe that if you think you will blow over 0.08%, then you should not blow. However, even if you refuse to blow, the magistrate may issue a warrant allowing the officer to demand a sample of your blood for a blood test.