What Happens Immediately Following My OUI Stop?
OUI Arrest: What You Need To Know
Even with the best of intentions and the most preparation after a night out, mistakes can happen. We often believe that a drink is merely a drink and if you feel fine, you may be inclined to get behind the wheel of your car, despite the fact that you “should know better”. Hindsight is 20/20.
Should you find yourself in the position of having law enforcement pull up behind you with those familiar bright flashing lights that cause your stomach to drop, no doubt it may send you into an instant panic. It is best that you be prepared for what follows.
What Comes Next?
After you have pulled over into a shoulder safely, the officer will likely wait a few seconds before exiting his vehicle to approach you. It is of absolute importance that you remain calm. There is no reason for you to reach for anything; not your wallet in your pocket, your purse in the passenger seat or backseat, and certainly not your registration from the glove compartment or console. Take a deep breath to steady your nerves and wait for the officer. Law enforcement serves the purpose of protecting and serving the public and it is best that they do not perceive any sudden movements on your behalf as they approach your vehicle.
Stay Calm And Cooperative
For your own safety and wellbeing, it is best to keep your hands on the wheel. If your window is already rolled down, the officer will likely begin communicating the reason for your stop and eventually request that you provide your license and registration. If your window is not already rolled down, it is best to wait for the officer to instruct you to roll it down. Be mindful that you stay collected as you move through the officer’s instructions and provide him with any documentation that he has requested. You should always engage in respectful communications with law enforcement and stay cordial.
Less Is More
As previously mentioned, it is good practice to be cordial and respectful at all times however, you do not need to volunteer more information than required. Anything that you say can and will be used against you so be mindful of what you decide to share beyond being cooperative during the process.
Failing A Field Sobriety Test
If you have been pulled over on the suspicion of driving under the influence or driving while impaired, law enforcement may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test, in some cases, you may be asked to submit to more than one type of test.
If you fail your field sobriety test, this may happen if you have miscalculated the content of alcohol that you have consumed or possibly out of nervousness. In either case, if the officer ultimately makes the call to place you under arrest, it is because he or she believes that you are under the influence or impaired. The officer will likely advise you as to the latter.
You will be read you rights and handcuffed, after which you will be placed in the back of the officer’s vehicle. Once your Miranda rights have been read to you, you are then transported to the police station for further processing. At the station, you will be subject to further Blood Alcohol Testing. You can refuse to cooperate with any blood or urine tests requested of you, however, be advised that you most definitely will have your license suspended.
Independent Medical Exam
Depending on what decision you make. in terms of taking part in chemical sobriety tests, you will be advised by law enforcement that you are entitled to have an independent medical exam at your own discretion. You will be coordinating the independent exam on your own and at your own expense. This is important as you cannot be sure that law enforcement has properly administered the tests; how long the person administering the test has been doing so, how old the elements that they use are or how often their equipment for testing is maintained.
It is possible that the law enforcement test may indicate that your BAC level is higher than it actually is. Should you wish to have an independent medical exam, you should let law enforcement know as they should complete your processing utilizing a reasonable timeline so as to allow you to exercise your right to have your own exam.
What Happens To My Car?
Most people become extremely concerned about what happens to their car during the arrest and little information is usually available to address this concern. There are three possibilities depending on the extent and gravity of the circumstances:
- Your vehicle can be parked and you can have a family member retrieve it.
- Your vehicle will be impounded.
- Your passenger (provided you had someone sober in the car), may be permitted to drive the vehicle.
Arraignment and Bail
Once you have been processed and tests concluded, law enforcement will likely decide whether you can be released without bail. If you cannot be released without bail, a bail commissioner contacted by law enforcement will decide your bail or opt to have you remain in custody until your court hearing the following business day.
Contact an experienced Massachusetts OUI Attorney for immediate assistance. Get ahead on your defense by calling Jesse Adams today.