First and foremost, you should never put yourself and others at risk by getting behind the wheel and driving if you have had too much to drink. Drunk driving accidents can have long-lasting and life-changing consequences for you and others.
However, just because you are stopped by a Connecticut officer who suspects you are driving drunk doesn’t mean you are guilty, or that you will automatically be convicted. An experienced defense attorney can explore several ways to reduce penalties or have the charges dropped.
Keep these things in mind when stopped
Before you get your day in court, you will first have to deal with a potential arrest. Once you see the flashing police lights, take these steps:
- Pull over and stay in your car: Move to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible, turn off your ignition and place your hands on the steering wheel. Do not attempt to exit the vehicle.
- Be polite: Even if you haven’t been drinking, do not engage in a debate with the officer or use swear words or disobey their orders. Acting out could result in other charges.
- Don’t incriminate yourself: While you want to be respectful and follow the officer’s directions, you also have rights under the Fifth Amendment to remain silent.
- Avoid candid talk: Along with your constitutional right to silence, it’s not a good idea to think that being honest and sharing that you’ve had a drink (or two) will help your case. It won’t.
- Stay calm: Even if you follow each of the previous steps to the letter, it’s possible you will be arrested depending upon the results of sobriety tests. It’s essential to keep your cool and ask for a lawyer.
Protect your rights with experienced representation
A first-offense DUI, also known in Connecticut as OUI, for operating under the influence, can bring a prison sentence of up to six months and a fine of $500 to $1,000. A conviction can also lead to other consequences, such as lost wages for missing work, and increased insurance rates, which can double or triple.
Your defense attorney will challenge every aspect of your arrest, including whether sobriety tests were performed correctly, and if the officers conducting them were properly trained. Your lawyer will also question whether officers had probable cause to stop you in the first place.