Drunk driving allegations are serious, as a conviction can result in large fines, community service, license suspension and even prison time. So, if you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Memphis, it’s important to know what to expect.
Here are the basics of almost every DUI traffic stop:
- The officer will request more information: To start, they’ll want to see your license, registration and proof of insurance.
- The officer will ask you some basic questions: If they suspect that you’re under the influence, they’re likely to ask you if you’ve been drinking or when you had your last drink. You can answer with a simple, “No, I have not consumed alcohol recently.” If you have imbibed alcohol, you are under no obligation to reply. You may say that you would like to speak with a lawyer before answering questions other than providing the officer with your name.
- The officer may ask you to step outside your vehicle: Whether or not this happens depends on if the officer is satisfied with your answers, your appearance and your overall behavior. If they still have reason to believe you’re under the influence, they’re likely to ask you to get out of your vehicle.
- The administration of field sobriety tests: There are three parts of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST). These include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, walk-and-turn test and one-leg stand test. As you’re completing the tests, the officer will pay close attention to your performance, with the idea of placing a pass or fail grade.
- The administration of a Breathalyzer test: With this, the officer is able to determine if your blood alcohol concentration level is over the legal limit. They may or may not administer this test depending on the results of the sobriety tests.
With these five steps behind you, the officer will either put you under arrest or tell you that you’re free to go.
If you’re arrested for driving under the influence, follow direction and don’t resist. Also, pay attention to what the officer is saying, as they could make a mistake that violates your legal rights. And if that happens, it can work in your favor in court.
After you’re processed, your immediate attention should turn to your court date and the type of DUI defense strategy you can employ to protect your legal rights and reduce the risk of a conviction.