Drunk driving is one of the most serious traffic offences you can commit, because it not only endangers you, but it endangers anyone else on the road with you. Even if you are not involved in an accident, being caught driving under the influence of alcohol can mean facing time in jail and hefty fines. If you are arrested for drunk driving, it is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible to help you.
Obtaining Legal Representation
Even if you are guilty of an offence when you’re pulled over, you should contact a lawyer to represent you if there are charges filed against you. Although this offence may seem indefensible, drunk driving lawyers may be able to find ways to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. A lawyer can question the traffic stop, what you were charged with and the tests you were given to check your PCA.
What to Do If Stopped
The police have a right to stop you if they believe you have committed an offence of some kind, so if they see your car weaving on the road or you’re otherwise driving erratically, they can pull you over. When you are pulled over, be respectful—but only give the information you are required to, which is your name and address. If asked other questions, politely tell them you decline to answer.
When the police ask for your name and address, do not lie, as you can be fined up to $220 for giving false information. They will also ask to see your driver’s licence and insurance, which you should show them—but do not answer any other questions. Since you are being stopped for a serious offence, they are within their legal right to search your car, so you may be asked to step out of the car and you should be cooperative.
Drunk Driving is a Serious Offence
The police do not have to suspect drink driving to make you take a breathalyzer, and refusing to take one is a serious offensive, which could result in a fine that is equal to that of the high range PCA offence, $3,300. Your attorney may be able to dispute the results of the breath test if they believe the equipment was faulty or if it wasn’t administered in a timely fashion. However, let your lawyer dispute that and cooperate with police when given one.
If you are placed under arrest, the police must tell you that you are being arrested and tell you why you are being charged. In addition, they have to give you their name and the station at which they work. They will then take you to a station and process you, taking your fingerprints and picture, and then allow you to contact an attorney.
If you are able to, try to remember everything that happens from the time you are pulled over until the time you see your attorney. The information you remember could be important for your defense. The sooner you contact an attorney after your arrest, the better.