When a law enforcement officer pulls a person over for a possible DUI (driving under the influence) they will be watching that person closely. Specifically, the officer will be observing that person’s behavior and physical actions to determine if that person is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Here are some common signs a trained officer will look for when they first pull someone over for a possible DUI.
- Difficulty rolling down the window or difficulty exiting the vehicle
- A red colored or flushed face
- Bloodshot, watery, red, or glossy eyes
- Clothing soiled or out of sorts
- An odor of alcohol comes from the car or from the person’s breath
- Slurred speech
- Has a difficult time finding a driver’s license or proof of insurance
- Attempts to hide something in car while an officer approaches
- Cannot answer questions in a timely manner
- Has an inappropriate response to questions
- Lack of knowledge of time or current whereabouts
- Does not or cannot follow directions
- Uses their vehicle for support while standing
- Sways back and forth while standing
- Cannot walk straight or keep balance when walking
- Angry, aggressive or inappropriate attitude
Typically, if a law enforcement officer observes some of these signs, they will continue to investigate that individual for DUI by asking them to take the DUI field sobriety tests. The field sobriety tests are voluntary tests, and the attorneys at David O Defense always advise NOT to take the field tests. The test are difficult and if a person decides to try the tests, they will fail. Even a sober athletic person would have some difficulty passing the tests.
An officer will also ask the individual to blow into a portable breath test to get a reading on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This is also a voluntary test. The DUI defense attorneys at David O Defense always advise NOT to take this test as well.
When under investigation for a possible DUI, a person should politely tell the officer that they want to contact their DUI attorney immediately. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to provide guidance through the situation.
If you don’t have a DUI attorney’s phone number programed in your phone, make sure you put David O Defense in your contacts, 206-459-6392. The attorneys at David O Defense are experienced DUI lawyers and are available if you ever need help!
Physical Control DUI – Questions and Answers
- Q1. What is a physical control DUI charge?
- A1. A physical control DUI charge is given to someone that a law enforcement officer believes is under the influence of alcohol or any drug and the person has “actual physical control of a vehicle..”
- Q2. How is a physical control DUI charge different from a standard DUI charge?
- A2. In the case of Physical Control DUI, the officer did not observe the person driving prior to starting the investigation. In the case of the standard DUI, the officer usually observes the person driving prior to initiating a DUI investigation.
- A Few Examples of Physical Control DUI
- A law enforcement officer approaches an intoxicated person that is passed out in the drivers seat of their parked car. If the officer believes they recently drove their car or they are intending to, the officer could charge that individual with physical control DUI.
- A law enforcement officer finds an intoxicated person pulled over and parked safely on the side of a highway. The officer could charge that individual with physical control DUI even though the officer never saw actual driving.
- A law enforcement officer approaches a person pulled over on the side of the road working on repairing a flat tire. If the officer believes that person is drunk or under the influence of drugs, they may be arrested and charged with physical control DUI.
- A Few Examples of (a standard) DUI
- A law enforcement officer see’s a driver on the freeway driving erratically and swerving between lanes, they pull the driver over and if they believe they are drunk driving then they will be charged with DUI.
- A law enforcement officer observes a driver fail to signal while making a turn. If the officers believes the person is under the influence than they will be charged with DUI.
- A law enforcement pulls someone over for speeding and the officer believes they are under the influence, they will be charged with DUI.
- Q3. Are the penalties less harsh for physical control DUI when compared to a standard DUI?
- A3. The penalties for physical control DUI and DUI are the same. If you plead guilty to physical control DUI or if you are found guilty at trial you will be subjected to the same penalties as those guilty of DUI.
- Q4. Are there any defenses for a person charged with physical control DUI?
- A4. Yes, there are two defenses. The first defense is proving that the person was “safely off the roadway” and the second defense is to prove the consumption of alcohol or drugs occurred after driving.
If you have charged with physical control DUI, give our experience defense attorneys a call, (206) 459-6392, to schedule a free, no obligation consultation where you can discuss the details of your case.
The word “arraignment” sounds intimidating and scary. However, after learning about the who, what, and why of a DUI arraignment, a person should have a better understanding of the arraignment process and feel more at ease.
The Who – Who goes to a DUI arraignment?
- A person who has been charged with DUI, also called a criminal defendant, will be required to attend the arraignment.
- The arraignment is held in a court of law in front of a judge.
- It is likely that the city or state prosecutor will also be present.
- If a private DUI attorney was hired before the arraignment date, the defendant can expect to have their attorney present. If a private attorney was not hired than a public defender will be present.
- Other people may also be in the courtroom during the DUI arraignment.
The What – What is an arraignment?
- An arraignment is a criminal defendant’s first formal court hearing.
- The defendant will be formally told of their charges by the judge or prosecutor.
- The defense attorney and judge will advise the defendant of their legal rights.
The Why – Why is an arraignment important?
- During the arraignment the judge will ask how the defendant would like to plead to the DUI charge, guilty or not guilty?
- The defendant will need to plead guilty or not guilty.
- Next the judge will set conditions of release, which could include; being released on personal recognizance, bail being set, order to install an ignition interlock device, a prohibition against consuming alcohol or drugs (including marijuana), placement of an alcohol detection device on your person, and no driving if the defendant is uninsured or their license is invalid.
- In most jurisdictions, the defendant can expect to receive a copy of their police report from the prosecutor if a defense attorney is present.
- And lastly, the defendant can expect to receive their next DUI court date, which is called the pre-trial hearing.
The DUI defense attorneys at David O Defense are here to help navigate clients through all steps of the legal process, including the DUI arraignment. If you have been charged with DUI, call our defense lawyers today, 206-459-6392, to schedule a free legal consultation.