The summer months are upon us. Inevitably there will be graduation parties, cook outs, and an all around good time to be had by all. Many of these events will feature alcohol. DRINK RESPONSIBLY. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! If you find yourself to have been pulled over, here are 5 things you should know.
5. YES SIR AND NO SIR: Whether you’re plastered and won’t remember tomorrow or have had 1 beer and are really ticked off at being stopped, being polite and cooperative will save you a lot grief on the scene, and possibly in court as a non-statutory mitigating factor.
4. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO ANSWER QUESTIONS: While you should be polite and cooperative to the officer, you should still take advantage of your constitutional freedoms. You have absolutely no obligation to answer questions about where you are coming from, where you are going, what you had to drink, or anything else for that matter. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to NOT answer. Politely decline!
3. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO DECLINE TO TAKE FIELD SOBRIETY TEST: You have no obligation to take a field sobriety test. Politely decline.
2. CALL SOMEBODY: If the officer decides to take you downtown to collect a breath sample, you have the right to have a witness present when and if you give one (see number 1). Your witenss is on the clock and will only have 30 minutes to get to you – so don’t call your cousin in Michigan to tell your epic story. Also, make sure you tell the officer you have indeed contacted a witness and you are expecting them. This may become extremely important if for some odd reason your witness arrives but is not allowed back to see you.
1. TO BLOW OR NOT TO BLOW: More than likely, you will be taken to a machine to so the officer can get a breath sample. Giving a sample could be detrimental to your case, however, not giving a sample carried consequences that could be just as bad, if not worse, than a conviction. If you have any questions or concerns about your rights, contact the experienced attorneys of McCullers, Whitaker & Hamer, PLLC, by phone at 919-772-7000, or follow this link to make an email inquiry.
(This list was compiled by Attorney Damion L. McCullers, a partner at the firm of McCullers, Whitaker & Hamer, PLLC. Mr. McCullers has been trying criminal matters for over thirteen years in Wake, Harnett and Johnston counties. If you are charged with DWI, make sure that you are represented by experienced legal counsel.)