DUI Tips

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SONY DSC
SONY DSC

What does it take to get arrested for DUI in Oklahoma?

Answer: Have an odor of an alcoholic beverage about your breath and person.  That’s it, smell like alcohol and you may very well be going to jail!

That is pretty scary considering it is not illegal to have a couple of drinks and then drive and because the odor of an alcoholic beverage on someone only means, at best, that they may have consumed some sort of an alcoholic beverage sometime in the past few hours. Contrary to popular belief, a strong odor DOES NOT automatically correlate to a high level of intoxication.

DUI enforcement is serious business.  You must hire an attorney who understands this. Attorney Josh D. Lee understands the ins and outs of an Oklahoma DUI. If you ever find yourself in the frightening situation of being investigated for DUI in Oklahoma here are some tips for you to consider.

hgnFirst of all: if you are drunk…please don’t drive.  However, if you have had a few drinks, are not under the influence, and then need to drive, this page is for you.  It is my experience that the odor of an alcoholic beverage coupled with a slight stumble or what the officer believes to be slurred speech will usually turn a routine traffic ticket into an arrest for Driving Under the Influence. In case you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of being stopped by the police after a drink or two, here are a few tips that you should follow.

 

  • Be polite and professional with the officers.  I am not telling you to do everything the officer wants you to do.  I am just saying don’t be rude or obnoxious.
  • Use your Right to Remain Silent.
    • DO NOT say you have been drinking.
    • DO NOT say you have had too much to drink.
    • DO NOT say you are intoxicated.
    • DO NOT say you cannot pass any tests they offer you.
    • DO NOT answer any questions about where you have been or how much you have had to drink.  Simply say that you would like to consult with your attorney, Josh Lee, before making any statements about alcohol consumption.
    • DO NOT admit to taking ANY drugs.  It does not matter if they are legal, illegal, prescribed, or otherwise.  KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
  • DO NOT perform any Roadside Sobriety Tests.  These include the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.  You are not required to take them and they are designed only to be used against you.  They are designed for failure.
  • DO NOT submit to any Preliminary Breath Test on the side of the road.  These hand-held devices are not yet approved for use under Oklahoma law but some departments use them anyways.  DO NOT submit to one.
  • DO NOT consent to any searches of your person, vehicle, or home.
  • If you are arrested, immediately request that you be able to speak to your attorney Josh Lee.

 

Now you know what you should be thinking.  It is also helpful to know what the police are thinking.  Here are things the police officers are watching for…

While You Are Driving:
Police officers are trained to watch the way you drive and note any “cues” that could indicate the driver is under the influence.  The following are many of the cues that the police are trained to watch for.  Weaving, Straddling a Lane Line, Swerving, Wide Turning, Drifting, Almost Striking Another Vehicle or Object, Stopping Problems (too far, too short, or too jerky), Accelerating or Decelerating Rapidly, Varying Speed, Driving 10 mph or More Under the Limit, Driving in Wrong Lanes or on One Way, Slow Response to Traffic Signals, Stopping for No Apparent Reason, Driving Without Headlights on at Night, Failing to Signal or Inconsistent Signals, Following Too Closely, and Improper or Unsafe Lane Change.

While You Are Being Stopped:
Once the police decide they are going to stop you they will be watching your actions closely.  Here are a few things they will be watching for.  Use of Turn Signal, Slow or Wide Turn, Hitting Curb or Another Object, Slow Reaction to Police Lights, and Not Pulling off Roadway Completely.

After They Have Stopped You:
The next phase of a typical DUI stop is called Personal Contact.  Many times this is when a routine stop will turn into a DUI investigation.  BY FAR the most common observation reported by the officers is “Smell of an Alcoholic Beverage about the Breath and/or Person.”  Here are some more things the police will be watching you for.  Red, Bloodshot, Watery, or Glassy Eyes, Slurred Speech, Fumbling with License or Insurance, Inconsistent Answers to Cops Questions, Admission of Drinking, Cover-Up Odors like Cologne or Gum or Breath Mints, Not Providing Officer with the Items He Requested, and Confusion.

After They Get You Out of the Vehicle:
Next they will get you out of the vehicle.  This is very important: When getting out of your car DO NOT use the car to lean on or pull up on for assistance in exiting your vehicle.  The police really watch closely for any touch, lean, stumble, stagger, sway, or trouble opening the door. It is my experience that many times if a driver has the “smell” and then one small stumble or misstep getting out of the vehicle he will more likely than not be arrested for DUI.  So exit your vehicle carefully and walk to the police car carefully.  Do not lean on your car or their car.

8000The State’s Test:
If you are arrested for DUI the police are required to read the State of Oklahoma’s Implied Consent Test Request.  Its purpose is to advise you of your rights with regard to submitting to a
test of your breath or blood for the determination of alcohol content.  The police will choose if the test will be one of breath or one of blood.  If they offer you a breath test and if you agree to take it ALWAYS request your own independent BLOOD test.  This must be done at your expense but it is very important that you do so.  The Intoxilyzer 8000 (pictured at left) is an unreliable way of measuring a person’s breath alcohol content. A Gas Chromatograph is the device used to measure drugs or alcohol in blood and is much more reliable. This is one reason why requesting an independent blood test is so important.