No drivers enjoy being subject to a traffic stop, especially if they are fearful that the stop could end with a DUII arrest or other criminal charges. You may wonder, what do you have to disclose during a DUII stop? What’s the best course of action to protect yourself and ultimately avoid being arrested? Our defense team at Baxter Harder, LLC explains what drivers are required to do during a DUII stop but also what they should not do.
Am I Required to…
Show my ID?
Most traffic stops start with an initial request for the driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Most drivers voluntarily present this information. If the driver does not comply with this request, the officer may detain them until they can identify them. Once the officer has identified the driver, they will continue on with the investigation. If after checking the driver’s ID on their internal system they find that the driver has active warrants, they may arrest the driver at this time.
Show my ID If I’m a Passenger?
Generally, no. If the cause for the traffic stop is based on the driver’s actions, then the passengers do not have to show ID. However, if the officer has probable cause to assume that a passenger committed a crime or traffic infraction, they can ask to see identification. For example, if they see a passenger holding an illicit substance at the time of the DUII stop, law enforcement may ask to see the passenger’s ID.
Answer The Police Officer’s Questions?
The police officer will typically ask the driver questions about their route, activities prior to the stop, sobriety, or other information, hoping that the driver admits wrongdoing. This is a crucial part of the DUII stop. Whatever is said during this conversation can be used against the driver in the future. This is why drivers should always use their right to remain silent during a DUII stop. Drivers are not required to answer police questions at this time. Instead of giving any potentially incriminating information, drivers should state that they are using their right to remain silent until they have an attorney present. There is no penalty for doing this.
Take Sobriety Tests?
This is a more complicated question. If you are stopped for suspected DUII, there is a high chance that the police officer will either ask you to take a breath test or a series of field sobriety tests.
Under implied consent laws, drivers are required to take breath tests. Refusal to do so will likely result in a long-term driver’s license suspension for at least one year, depending upon your driving history. It is almost never a good decision to refuse to take a breath test. Not only will you have a longer suspension period for doing so, but law enforcement will also likely get a warrant for your blood and still have that evidence to use against you.
When it comes to field sobriety tests, it’s easier to know what to do. You are not required by law to take field sobriety tests, so you shouldn’t! There is never a situation where these tests are mandatory. They are subjective and difficult to pass. If you refuse, an officer must then read you the Rohrs admonishment where the officer warns you that refusing to submit to the tests could be used against you if you were to go to trial. However, this is a much better result than a judge or jury getting a plethora of scientific evidence obtained from the field sobriety tests to argue why they believe you were under the influence when you were driving. As such, all drivers should refuse to participate in field sobriety testing.
Bend, Oregon DUII Defense Attorneys
Unfortunately, even drivers who do everything right can still be arrested at the end of a traffic stop. If this happens to you, contact our defense team at Baxter Harder, LLC. DUII charges are common, but each case is unique. We’ll give your case the personalized attention it deserves, ultimately coming up with the strongest possible defense strategy. Share the details of your stop and arrest with our team during an initial consultation; contact us here or by calling (541) 238-9210.