Glass of alcohol next to car keys

Did You Get a DUI? Understand What Happened

Getting pulled over and facing a charge of driving under the influence can happen quickly. One minute you are driving along, maybe on your way home, and the next minute you see the flashing lights behind you. Now, you are meeting with the best DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel County wondering how you got to this point. This is a quick peek into the standard process of a DUI stop and arrest.

Getting Pulled Over by Police

Any police officer can stop a driver if there is reasonable cause or suspicion. This means, if a police offer observes or believes that a driver has broken the law, they can stop the vehicle. For example, a driver can be stopped for switching lanes without signaling, running a red light, or swerving on the road. You may not have even noticed, but perhaps a small traffic violation led you to being pulled over.

Observations and Questions

Your first interaction with a police officer after they stop you will likely be their request for your license and registration. As you gather these documents, they watch to see how you are reacting, moving, and if they can smell any alcohol. It’s common for the police officer to then ask you any and all of the following questions:

  • Where are you coming from?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?
  • How much have you had to drink tonight?
  • Do you know why I pulled you over?

Prearrest Tests

If the police officer feels that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may ask you to participate in roadside tests. These tests normally are voluntary, and can include field sobriety tests and portable breathalyzer tests. Each criminal defense lawyer has their own opinion about whether or not drivers should participate in these tests. However, at the moment, right after being pulled over, you may feel obligated to complete these tests.

Field sobriety tests are used by officers to see your level of impairment. For example, a test like this might require you to stand on one leg and count backward. To pass this test, the driver would have to be able to balance, think, and speak clearly all at the same time. If you are under the influence, this test is difficult to pass.

Portable breathalyzer tests are very straightforward, as they measure the blood-alcohol concentration in the driver’s breath. These test results provide police officers with a quick way to see how impaired a driver is, while they are standing right in front of them.

Officer giving woman breathalyzer test

Getting Arrested and Seeking Legal Help

If the results of your interactions with the police show that you are impaired, an arrest is the next step. You will be arrested for driving under the influence and taken to either the police station or jail. From there, it is a good idea to find legal representation. A DUI lawyer can assist you in understanding the situation and possibly finding a defense.

You don’t have to face your DUI arrest alone, the lawyers at Ortega Law, LLC, can help you. We can utilize our expertise to understand your situation and provide important legal advice. We can answer all of your legal questions and address your many concerns about the upcoming case. With years of experience, our lawyers know exactly how to handle DUI cases for our clients. If you have been arrested in Anne Arundel County for DUI, don’t wait—contact Ortega Law, LLC today.