If you drive regularly, you may be concerned about one day being accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even people who do not drink or use illegal drugs are sometimes believed to be driving under the influence. Here is a bit of information about DWIs to help you better understand why you may be charged and what you can expect.
There are three basic ways that a law enforcement officer determines whether or not you are driving while intoxicated.
Law enforcement officers don't just automatically assume that a person is intoxicated while behind the wheel. They use three methods to determine whether or not to arrest you for DWI.
Observing your driving, demeanor and movements
An officer that pulls you over uses his or her own observations to draw a conclusion concerning your sobriety. If your driving seems erratic and you slur your words, the officer may assume that you have been drinking or using drugs.
Testing your sobriety
Once the officer believes that you may be intoxicated, he or she will likely ask you to step out of your car and complete several tests of your speech and balance. You may be asked to walk in a straight line or repeat a number of letters in a specific order. The officer may also peer into your eyes to check for dilated or constricted pupils. If your test results indicate that you are not sober, you may be arrested and asked to take a blood or urine test.
Testing your blood
If you actually are intoxicated, your blood-alcohol levels will likely support the officer's findings. In lieu of a blood test, the amount of alcohol in your body can also be assessed by testing your breath or urine.
You don't actually have to take a blood, urine or breath test if you are pulled over for a suspected DWI.
You can legally refuse to be tested for the level of alcohol or drugs in your system. However, your refusal could result in having your license suspended for several months. This suspension may not be rescinded, even if you are not found guilty of driving while intoxicated. Also, a refusal to be tested may be perceived as proof that you actually are intoxicated.
A police officer can question you without reading you your Miranda rights.
If you are suspected of drunk driving, the officer only has to read your Miranda rights if he or she restrains or arrests you.
For more information, contact a firm such as Pollack & Ball LLC.Share
28 July 2017
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