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Understanding Your Rights During A DUI Investigation

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Nobody ever expects to find themselves pulled over on the side of the road under suspicion of DUI, OWI, or similar crime. Still, all it takes is one minor traffic violation to be pulled over by a police officer--and if you show any signs of being under the influence, the investigation will be underway regardless of whether you're intoxicated or not.

With this in mind, it's important to understand your rights as an American citizen so you can act accordingly if you're ever pulled over and investigated for DUI.

You Can Refuse Roadside Sobriety Tests

One thing that many drivers don't realize is that they have the legal right to refuse roadside sobriety tests. This doesn't mean it's always a good idea to refuse them, however. If you haven't been drinking, for example, passing roadside sobriety tests can be the best way to get yourself back on the road to your destination. 

You Don't Have to Disclose How Much You've Had to Drink

When you encounter a police officer during a traffic stop, you are never obligated to provide any information aside from your driver's license (or other identification), registration, and insurance. If an officer asks you how much you've had to drink, you don't need to answer. 

You Aren't Required to Submit to a Breath Test

Another thing you may be asked to do but are under no legal obligation to is submitting to a breath test. Again, this is a situation where if you're confident you aren't intoxicated, it may be in your best interest to take the test and be on your way. Still, it's important to know your rights and that you do have the right to refuse.

You May Be Legally Required to Submit to a Blood Test

On the other hand, if you do refuse a breath test and the officer has probable cause to believe you're driving while intoxicated, there's a good chance that you will be detained and a search warrant will actually be issued for your blood. This will allow a blood draw to be done at the jail so that blood alcohol testing can be done to determine your blood-alcohol levels. Just be aware that if you do refuse to submit to any roadside testing, there is a chance that you will be brought in for a blood test whether you agree to provide a blood sample or not.

For more information, contact a company like Daniels Long & Pinsel today.