You Have Been Stopped By The Police And They Begin A DUI Investigation – What You Need To Know

Written by: Robert Laurens Driessen

        This will provide information on how a DUI investigation takes place and your rights during a DUI investigation in California. This is really designed for those that believe they are over the legal limit (BAC .08).

After you are stopped – what you need to do.

Remain calm. Be prepared to hand your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration to the officer. You will want to have all these items in an easy to access place. The longer it takes you to find them or if you have difficulty finding these items – that will be used against you in court.  Be respectful. An officer is more likely to work with you if he/she thinks that you are a good person. Many individuals are arrested due to their attitude and you do not want to be one of them.


The officer will begin to ask you questions – what you need to answer.

The police officer will start to ask you questions. This will either occur while you are still seated in the car or just after the officer has had you exit the vehicle. You are not entitled to the Miranda waiver at this time. California courts have long held that routine roadside investigations do not apply. This means you need to be careful in what information you provide. You are not required to answer any of these questions. All of the questions are designed to be used against you in court. Be respectful and ask the officer if you are required to provide the information and decline to answer any questions.


Field Sobriety Tests  (FST) – You are not required to perform them

Typically the first test an officer will initiate is the HGN test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus). This is where the officer will look into your eyes and follow either a finger or a pen. You are not required to complete this test. Ask the officer if you are required to complete this test (the answer is no) and decline the test. Under no circumstances should you complete this test.  The remaining tests are typically the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, Finger to Nose, and the Romberg Test. Again ask the officer if you are required to complete the test (the answer is no) and decline all of the tests.  The Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS)  This is the roadside breath test. This is another FST and you are not required to complete the test. Just as the other tests make sure you ask the officer of you are required to complete the test and refuse to complete the test.


After You Are Arrested What You Need To Do.

Understand that you will be arrested. This guide is designed for those individuals that are close or over the legal limit. However you will be arrested without providing useful information that the prosecutor needs to find you guilty in court. Had you completed all the tests you still would be arrested and have provided the prosecutor will all the information they need to convict you.   You are required to provide either a blood or a breath test after you have been arrested. Always choose the breath test and do not answer any of the officer’s questions.