Whether or not you believe you are drinking and driving, if you get pulled over by the cops and they smell alcohol on your breath, you are in for the fight of your life. Take it from me, a Seattle DUI lawyer, the cops are in many ways brain washed to believe that if they smell alcohol the driver is likely operating their vehicle under the influence (even though this is the farthest thing from the truth). Because of that, though, if you are pulled over and investigated for DUI, your number one priority must be trying to beat the case later.
What do I mean by that? Easy. I mean you should very well expect to be arrested at that time and have to fight for your life going forward. The difference is, you will be in control of the situation, you will be in control of the evidence the cops have against you, and you will be in control of where the case goes from that point forward.
Many people believe, mistakenly, that answering the cop’s questions honestly, taking field sobriety tests, and taking a portable breath test are sure ways to get to go home at night. In fact, doing those things are a recipe for disaster. Those things, each and every one of them, are designed for one thing – to build a DUI case against you.
I mentioned above that I’m a DUI lawyer, and because of that I get to see first hand the effects of working with the police and not against them. Time and time again I have people come into my office and tell me “I’m sure I passed the field sobriety tests,” and then I get the police report and they’ve failed them all. Do you know why this is? Because most people don’t know what the scoring criteria is! How can you know if you passed if you don’t know what the cops are looking for?
At the end of the day your number one priority should be to limit the amount of information the cops have to use against you. This means exercising your rights in ways that maximize your position. This means not answering the cops’ questions, not taking field sobriety tests, and not taking the portable breath test (the one they give you out on the road). And, finally, it means talking to a DUI lawyer before you decide what you are going to do at the police station. You do that and you dramatically increase your chances of beating the case.