Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Although being stopped by police can be intimidating and frightening in the day time, the effects can increase tenfold at night. For this reason, the following is what you should know about DUI stops at night and what additional steps you may be able to take to ensure your safety. To learn more about DUI stops in Fairfax or to discuss your DUI case call and schedule a consultation with a Fairfax DUI lawyer today.
Nothing changes for someone who is directed to pull over at night. They should pull over in the first safe location available. It should be safe for the driver and safe for the police. If a person does not believe that it is a real police officer and believes that they are in danger in some way, they should call the police and maybe not pull over in that instant. Usually, that is not the case and the driver should pull over in the first safe area as soon as possible, whether it is night or day.
The person should roll down their window if the police officer asks them to roll down the window. If a person refuses to roll down the window, eventually the police will get that window open. It doesn’t benefit the person to not roll down the window.
The person should always follow the police officer’s instructions as much as possible and not give them any kind of information that would harm their case. The police officer will come over and ask the person to do certain things. The person should try to follow this to a certain extent. If the officer asks them to perform tests that could indicate that they are intoxicated, they should refuse to do that. If someone was drinking, they should not blow into the preliminary breath test and should not make any admissions to consuming alcohol which could hurt their case later.
Turning on the in-car light can be a good thing to do but the person should wait for the officer’s instructions. It sends a signal to the police that a person is not trying to hide anything or be elusive in any way. It is probably best to leave the lights off, unless the police requests they be turned on. When a person turns the lights on, the officer can see more from the outside, so if there is anything that’s indicative of any wrongdoing they can see it from the outside and that can harm your case.
A person can get their registration if they wish, but an attorney would advise against that. The person should wait for the officer to ask for the license and registration. If someone starts reaching for the glove box without being asked to do so, the officer may take that as a sign that they are going to get a weapon. That could make the situation much worse. A person should not grab their license and registration unless it’s right in front of them because it can send the wrong message to the police.
A person should avoid being too combative with police and avoid making any statements that they consumed any alcohol, or that they are impaired in any way. The person should avoid taking any field sobriety test. A person does not have to take a field sobriety test if they do not want to. If they refuse the test, it can be used as evidence and probable cause for the officer. However, the person’s refusal to perform a field sobriety test can’t be used against them at trial. If someone was drinking alcohol, they should refuse the field sobriety test and refuse the preliminary breath test because the results can be used to make an arrest for DUI.