Many people understand traffic laws. However, very few people understand what happens if they violate traffic laws.
For starters, the police could stop your vehicle. What does that mean? Here’s what you should know:
1. Why would the police stop a vehicle?
The police have the right to stop a vehicle if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed or will be committed. An officer may perform a traffic stop on suspicion of drunk driving. This could happen, for example, if a driver was swerving, drove through a red light or operated their vehicle after leaving a bar.
2. Do you have to answer police questions?
The police will likely ask you a few questions during a traffic stop. A few of these questions may include “Were you drinking?” or “How much did you drink?” and even “Where have you been?” Under The Fifth Amendment, you can plead the Fifth and refuse any questions. You should still give the officer your license and registration or you could face penalties.
3. What is a field sobriety test?
If the police suspect you’re drunk, they’ll likely have you do a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test is done by having you move around. For example, this could be done by having you walk in a straight line and keeping your balance. You can refuse this test without facing penalties.
4. Can you refuse a breath test?
Alternatively, you may be asked to do a chemical breath test. A breath test evaluates the blood alcohol content (BAC) in your body. If your BAC is above the legal limit, you could face a DUI charge. If you refuse a chemical breath test, then you could face criminal penalties.
5. What happens if you’re charged with a DUI?
If the police believe you’re driving drunk, then you could be charged with a DUI. A DUI charge could lead to a one-year license suspension, a $250 minimum fine and possible jail time. By understanding your legal rights and getting a defense strategy together via legal guidance, you may be able to reduce these charges.