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Officers in Los Angeles County are trained to ask you whether you’ve been drinking because that’s one way to prove that you have alcohol in your system. If you admit that you’ve been drinking, not only does that help them prove their case against you, it’s the first step to them telling you to get out of your car to do the field sobriety tests. Ultimately, they’ll either do a blood or a breath test to confirm their suspicions that you’re drinking and driving. You do not have to incriminate yourself; you don’t have to answer questions as to whether or not you’ve been drinking.
A lot of people don’t realize that if you take anything that affects your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, the police or prosecutors can and will use that to prove a DUI case against you. You have the right to not answer their questions. I would not go into whether or not you’ve taken any prescription medication. However, realize that if you take prescription medication that causes you to drive unsafely, even if it’s one of the prescription medications where you don’t have any restrictions related to driving, they can still use that against you. Some people are mixing prescription medications together or combining them with alcohol and it causes them to get pulled over and arrested for DUI.
In Los Angeles, some law enforcement agencies actually have their Breathalyzer machines out in the field, so they don’t have to take you back to the station. No one should be advising you not to take those tests because if you don’t, you may be charged with refusal and lose your license for a year. You don’t have to take the handheld device test and you don’t have to do the field sobriety tests, but you start to get yourself into a dangerous position when you refuse the actual Breathalzer or blood test. I would advise to cooperate with the police when it comes to the blood or breath test, just because of the negative impact that a refusal can have against you.
Police don’t want you using your phone while they’re investigating you for a DUI. Since driving is a privilege and not a right, the police have a lot of power when they suspect that you’re under the influence of alcohol and you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle. They can prevent you from using your phone. Your best bet is to just pay attention to what’s going around you so that you can put yourself in the best position in dealing with your DUI case.
For more information on Answering An Officer’s Questions At A DUI Stop, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.