suhrelaw | November 16, 2016 | Criminal Law
To start, it is best not to be filmed driving like a drunk person. This means that if you are pulled over for speeding no more then 10 miles an hour over the limit, a burned out light on your car, expired tags, not using a turn signal, etc. you are on the right track. Next you want to act professional when the officer approaches the car to talk to you.
This means you should not: curse, tell him that he should be out looking for real criminals, yell, refuse to produce identification, refuse to exit, argue, curse, etc. It also helps if you are not recorded with a body or car video camera sounding drunk. It would be best not to have slurred speech or talk nonsense.
Make sure you know where you are when you are pulled over. If you are not familiar with the area, that is OK. Just tell the officer that. You are not required to answer questions about where you are, where you came from, or where you are going. It is best not to guess as this will make you sound drunk.
You really should not tell the officer how much you drank and you are not required to tell them. If you just golfed 18 holes at an outing and drank a beer per hole you might want to keep that to yourself. DO NOT LIE and tell the officer you didn’t drink alcohol, as you will not sound credible if he says that he smells an overwhelming odor of alcohol.
It would be best to tell the officer you do not want to make any statements. If you want to win an OVI case it would also be in your best interest not to participate in voluntary field sobriety tests especially when you forget to tell the officer you have back problems, leg problems, or are just plain uncoordinated before you fall all over the place on camera. It is acceptable to tell the officer you do not wish to perform the field sobriety tests.
You should not take any blood, breath, or urine tests. Don’t argue with the officer about the reliability of the machine, etc. Just politely refuse it. It is voluntary on a first or second offense in Ohio. If you want to take a test, go have an independent test done when you are released. Just because the police want you sign the ticket or license suspension form does not mean that you are admitting to being drunk. If you refuse to sign anything and argue with the cops they will take you to jail, note that fact in the report, and use that against you at trial.
Don’t act like a drunk person if you are taken to jail. Keep calm and keep your hands and opinions to yourself. Having your picture taken, fingerprints taken, and giving basic contact info will not help a judge or jury find you guilty; but, refusing to be cooperative, or being rude and disrespectful with the jail staff will make it into the report and WILL be used against you as evidence of intoxication.
My advice to all my friends and family has always been that the best way to avoid a DUI or OVI in Dayton, Ohio is just don’t drink and drive; however, if you find yourself pulled over by the police after having a drink, hopefully this blog will give you some peace of mind about how to conduct yourself.