Brunswick County DUI Stops
In Brunswick County DUI stops, the officer pulls a driver over and begins the stop by asking for their license and registration. They ask if the driver understands why they were pulled over. The officer asks the person if they were drinking or consuming any other substances.
If a driver makes any statements that affirm the consumption of any substance, they can expect to be asked to get out of the car and perform field sobriety tests. These tests vary from officer to officer even in the same jurisdiction. It is important to carefully listen to the officer’s instructions and ask the officer to demonstrate it if necessary, so they fully understand what the officer is asking them to do.
It is also crucial to understand that people are not compelled to perform the field sobriety tests. If they do not feel comfortable performing them in any way, they can refuse the field sobriety tests without consequences.
If the law enforcement officer suspects alcohol, they offer a preliminary breath test, the results of which cannot be admitted in court. The officer is likely to arrest the individual regardless of their performance on the field sobriety tests. For more information, consult with an accomplished DUI attorney.
What do Officers Look For Before Pulling Over a Driver?
Prior to pulling over a driver, Brunswick County officers look for unsafe driving behavior. That could include speeding, weaving, and erratic driving that causes a law enforcement officer to feel the driving should not continue, based on their observations. The police need probable cause to pull over a driver. Most of the time, this is due to a traffic violation.
The Police Search of the Vehicle
People do not need to give consent to a search of their vehicle during a traffic stop. They have a constitutional right to refuse consent when asked that their vehicle be searched. If law enforcement has the authority to search, they can either proceed based on probable cause that they observed or they can obtain a search warrant to search the vehicle. This is true for a traffic stop and a DUI stop in Brunswick County.
Implied consent is a Virginia law that says that any driver, whether a Virginia driver or out-of-state driver, has implied their consent to submit to chemical testing by virtue of driving on Virginia highways.
Implied consent is read to every driver during the investigation of a DUI so the driver understands the consequences of refusing chemical analysis. The officer explains what the process for the chemical analysis means and the fact that it can be used against the person in a DUI trial.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in a DUI Stop
Many people believe that by saying they had a couple of beers they will not be treated as seriously as someone who admits to drinking heavily. The most common answer given at a DUI stop is someone saying they had a couple of beers or drinks. That gives law enforcement the justification they need to continue the DUI investigation.
It is advisable to not offer any statements to law enforcement regarding any consumption of alcohol or drugs. That cooperation always leads to evidence being presented against them during a trial.
Also, there is no law that compels a driver to cooperate with field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests can be complicated, and the most reliable test is still less than 80 percent reliable. Given the difficulty with performing the tests and the subjective analyses related to them, it is often advisable to not engage in the field sobriety tests.
Rights During a Brunswick County DUI Stop
It is crucial that you understand your rights during Brunswick County DUI stops. As mentioned above, people do not have to submit to field sobriety tests or to a search of their vehicle. Also, individuals should not answer investigative questions from the officer. Instead, they should remain silent and ask to speak to an attorney. A seasoned lawyer could protect your rights and advocate for you if you have been arrested for a DUI.