Remember, everything you say and do can and will be used against you in a court of law after you have been arrested for OUI. The moment the arresting officer makes observations of your vehicle in traffic, he is beginning to formulate and identify evidence to be used against you. If you are operating your motor vehicle between midnight and 3:00 a.m., there is a substantial likelihood that the officer is making the presumption that you are traveling from a nightclub or establishment that serves liquor. In conjunction with their training on field sobriety testing, police officers also receive training to identify potential drunk drivers by various types of motor vehicle infractions, such as crossing marked lanes, weaving and failing to respond to traffic control devices. Operators traveling between the hours of midnight and 3:00 a.m., observed committing any of these types of motor vehicle infractions, are likely to be suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, even before the officer has approached the car. Once the arresting police officer has approached your vehicle and detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from your person, you have become a prime suspect for an OUI arrest. Everything incriminating you say to the police officer from this point on will in all likelihood end up in his police report and be used against you in court. Statements about where you are coming from, where you are going to, how much you had to drink, what you were drinking, when you had your last drink and how you are feeling can all end up in the officer's arrest report and be used against you in court. You have a number of constitutional rights protected by the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which allow you to decline from providing evidence against yourself. By exercising those rights, you greatly protect yourself in an OUI arrest.
If you choose to exercise these rights, you will in all likelihood be arrested for OUI. There is a strong likelihood, however, that you would have been arrested anyway once the officer has pulled your vehicle over and identified that you have been drinking. In many instances, once you are asked to get out of the car to do field sobriety tests, it has already been decide that you are going to be arrested for OUI. The officer's options, once he has pulled your vehicle over and identified that you have been drinking prior to driving, are essentially:
Given that the officer doesn't know you, doesn't know where you're coming from, doesn't know where you're going to and doesn't know how much you've had to drink, the likelihood that you will be issued a citation and allowed to continue on your way is not great. By politely declining to tell the officer where you're coming from and how much you've had to drink, you will not have admitted to consuming alcohol prior to driving your car. By politely declining to perform field sobriety tests, you will have eliminated the arresting officer's ability to testify about his training and experience with the standardized field sobriety tests as designed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and your failing those tests. Improperly administered or evaluated field sobriety tests almost always result in an operator being placed under arrest for OUI. A professional sounding police officer testifying about the administration and your performance of standardized field sobriety testing is often the most damaging evidence against you in your drunk driving case. Without proper cross-examination, jurors almost never learn that the tests are as much as 35 percent unreliable and that they are further unreliable if the tests are not given in strict accordance with the designed criteria. Remember, anything you say and do can and will be used against you in court.
OUI is probably the one crime that is possibly committed by persons best described as non-criminals. If you think within your own circle of family and friends, driving home after attending parties, office functions, weddings, and any other type of professional or social engagement, it is not uncommon for those persons to be driving their vehicle after consuming several drinks. While they may not be demonstrating any visible signs of intoxication or impairment as a result of the alcohol they consumed, they will immediately become a drunk driving suspect the moment the officer observes an odor of alcohol coming from them. The vast majority of police officers are professional and sympathetic in dealing with persons suspected of drunk driving. They are, however, professional police officers and are in observance of their duty in upholding public safety during their investigation, after detecting the odor of alcohol. Even though an officer may appear to be friendly and joking with you, he is still at all times investigating your case and gathering evidence in support of his arrest for drunk driving. It is not uncommon for persons who have been stopped for OUI to let their guard down and speak more freely than they should or is in their best interest because they think the police officers are being friendly and will help them out of the situation. Persons arrested for OUI who behave in this manner, often are dismayed when they later review their police report and find it saturated with their comments and admissions that will ultimately be used against them by the prosecutor. If you choose to politely and respectfully exercise your rights as listed above, you will almost certainly find yourself arrested and charged with OUI. You will, however, find yourself in a much stronger position to win your case when you get to court.
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