Avoid DUI conviction – 3 helpful tips. This may help you avoid a DUI conviction, by reducing the amount of evidence the State is able to gather during the investigation. These tips are not likely to going to help you avoid a DUI arrest. While nobody wants to be arrested for DUI, the arrest is, generally speaking, the least of your concerns. The consequences of a possible conviction is what you should be most concerned with.
The easiest way to avoid a DUI conviction is: DON’T drink and drive!
Plan ahead, because if you don’t the alcohol may affect your judgement of whether or not you’re sober enough to drive.
You have the right to remain silent, and you should. Police are trained to investigate intoxicated motorists. When asked if you’ve had anything to drink, either invoke your right to remain silent, or politely tell the officer you refuse to answer the question. Why you ask? Well, if you respond in the affirmative, to even just a sip, that information you provided will be used against you as an admission. You also don’t want to lie, because if your testimony is necessary at trial, we need you to be a credible witness. Remaining silent will also help prevent you from making an admission. Admissions make avoiding a DUI conviction more difficult.
In Arizona, and in most states the Field Sobriety Tests (“FST’s”) are voluntary, meaning you do NOT have to participate in them. Lack of participation reduces the amount of evidence against you, thus increasing the chances of avoiding a DUI conviction.
FST’s generally consist of the “follow the tip of my pen” test, also known as Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”). What the officer is looking for here, is lack of smooth pursuit. Try this with your friends the next time you’re at a party. You’ll see that most individuals who have consumed a fair amount of alcohol will have a lack of smooth pursuit, their eye will make jerking movements while it follows the tip of the pen.
The officers are looking for 6 cue’s or clues during this test, because we can’t see how our own eye reacts during this test we can’t contradict their findings. That’s why it’s better to just refuse the test.
Another FST is the walk and turn. Walking in a straight line heel to toe with our hands down at our side is a difficult balancing exercise.
Officer’s are looking to see if you can do the following: follow directions; balance without using your arms for stability; balance without swaying or stepping out of line; line up heel to toe without stepping on your own foot or leaving a gap; that you turn in the appropriate manner at the number of steps requested; and that you turn without any problems balancing. As you can see there’s really a lot of commands that you need to listen to and follow appropriately. Here again, it’s better to refuse the test.
While there are other tests officer’s will use, the same applies, it’s better to refuse.
The Portable Breath Test (“PBT”) is a handheld device that an officer will ask you to blow into. Again, this test is also voluntary. You don’t need to participate. Moreover, the accuracy of these devices has been called into question to the point that the results of this device can only be used to help establish probable cause, and is not admissible in trial.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a DUI, an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to help you avoid a DUI conviction by getting the charges reduced or even dismissed. I’d recommend speaking with an attorney licensed to practice in your state.