Excerpt: Police know that the holiday party season means that there will be more drivers on the road who may be impaired by alcohol. If you are pulled over under the suspicion that you have been drinking or have an open alcohol container in your vehicle, in violation of the open container law Michigan, here are some tips to keep in mind
Police know that the holiday party season means that there will be more drivers on the road who may be impaired by alcohol.
If you are pulled over under the suspicion that you have been drinking, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- DON’T TALK: You are under observation, and are likely being recorded. The officer may ask how much you have had to drink. You have the right to remain silent. At best, “I do not wish to make any statements or perform any tests.” Save your arguments, explanations, and excuses for the court room.
- DON’T WALK: If the officer suspects you may have been drinking, he or she may ask you to step out of the vehicle and perform various field sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse these tests. The officer may try to convince you that performing these tests will help you prove your sobriety, so you can get back on the road; but they are actually attempting to get enough evidence to arrest you. Be polite, yet firm as you refuse the officer’s request to perform any and all field sobriety tests.
- DON’T BLOW: If an officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you may be intoxicated, they may ask you to submit to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) at the scene. The officer can and may arrest the driver based on the results of this test, ALONE. As such, we recommend you refuse to submit to the PBT. There is, however, a penalty for refusal to take a PBT. According to the Michigan Secretary of State, the penalty for refusal to take a PBT can result in the charge of a civil infraction, which includes a fine. This is a much more favorable outcome than getting arrested for having an unlawful PBT result.
The reason we recommend you DON’T TALK, DON’T WALK, DON’T BLOW is simple: the less evidence you offer up to the officer on the side of the road, the less evidence they have to arrest, charge, and/or prosecute you with.
Stay safe this holiday season! Remember, if you are pulled over or encounter the police in any way, let them know you’d like to have a lawyer. When shopping for a lawyer, it is best to get one who has specialized knowledge and decades of experience in the defense of OWI/DUI cases.
Read Jeff’s views on Drunk Driving Evidence