If you get pulled over by an officer of the law for any reason, and appear to be intoxicated, you will find yourself in a difficult position. You may think to yourself, “ I knew this would happen. I only had a couple drinks but I didn’t think I was unable to drive.”
Or maybe “I only had a couple puffs of that joint several hours ago. I never do that, anyway, but I’m fine now. It shouldn’t be a big deal.” You may actually say something like this to the officer, which would likely further the investigation.
From that point on, based on what you may have said, you may have narrowed your options. You may say to yourself, “an innocent person should tell the truth,” or “an innocent person doesn’t need to call their lawyer,” or “this officer will help me if I’m honest.”
From a legal perspective, any of this that may have been relayed to the officer will be used as evidence in court against you.
Take for example this hypothetical situation.
You smoked marijuana with some old friends. After waiting several hours, so as not to be under its influence when you drove home. You get pulled over for improper equipment because you didn’t know that your rear passenger brake light was out.
The officer pulls you over, asks for license and insurance. He checks it, then he asks if you know why you were pulled over. You say “no.” He tells you that your rear passenger brake light is out. You reply, “I’m sorry, officer, this is the first time that has come to my attention.”
Will he let you off with a warning, or write you a ticket for improper equipment? Surprise! “Sir, do I smell the odor of marijuana? Can you please step out of the vehicle?”
What do you do then? You may feel like you aren’t impaired, but the officer charges you with DUI-other because he smells marijuana. You can argue with him all day long, but when an officer alleges impairment when you are operating a vehicle, you will likely lose even the best argument you make while on the spot.
The caveat to keeping silent is that you can lose your license. This is Mississippi law, at least. If you refuse to blow (in regards to alcohol consumption), or otherwise refuse implied consent laws and the officer believes there to be overwhelming evidence that you are impaired, by automation of statutory law, the State will hold your license to drive for six months upon refusal of examination.
Before, or as soon as, this happens, make sure you have a lawyer who understands how to handle all types of situations involving DUIs.
If you need assistance, call us at 601-607-3156.
Panter Law Firm, PLLC, 7736 Old Canton Road, Suite B, Madison, MS 39110.