If You’re Arrested for a DUI, What’s the Typical Response? 

The Stop

In the majority of DUI cases, the motorist is pulled over due to indicators of impairment (such as swerving) or a traffic violation (even something minor like a broken taillight will suffice). In general, a stop is legitimate if the officer had probable cause (sometimes referred to as “reasonable suspicion”) to believe the driver had violated the law. (For additional information on the legality of traffic detentions, see here.)

If the police actually did not have good cause to pull you over, you can file a request to suppress later in the case, which may result in the dismissal of the entire prosecution.

Officer Remarks

Typically, traffic detentions begin with the police requesting your driver’s license and registration. The officer is likely to take notice if you exhibit indicators of intoxication during this interaction—things like fumbling with your paperwork or the stench of alcohol or marijuana. Any such observations will very certainly be included in the police record, which you will normally receive for the first time during your arraignment.

Police Interrogation

Almost always, during a DUI stop, police ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink. In answer, the majority of motorists reply something along the lines of “only a drink or two with dinner”—a common understatement of how much they actually drank. After hearing these types of statements numerous times, police officers are unlikely to stop there—especially if there are other evidence that you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. After receiving confirmation that you’ve been drinking — regardless of the amount — the majority of cops will want to conduct additional investigation. (Learn about your right to remain silent during police interrogation.)

When Can Police Search Your Vehicle?

Generally, police can search your automobile without a warrant if they have probable cause to suspect there is compelling evidence inside. For example, an officer may observe or smell anything during a DUI stop that leads them to suspect the presence of drugs in the vehicle. If that is the case, authorities may be justified in examining not only the interior of your vehicle, but also the glove compartment, trunk, and locked containers such as backpacks. Another frequently used basis for an automotive search is assent of the driver: Generally, police officers can search your car if you grant them permission.

Roadside Examinations

When an officer suspects someone of drunk driving, he or she will frequently conduct roadside tests to validate the suspicions: field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS) test (commonly called a breathalyzer). Typically, these pre-arrest examinations are voluntary.

Field Sobriety Examinations

Police officers employ a variety of various FSTs. However, the three “standardized” FSTs are the most frequently used:

  • nystagmus of the horizontal gaze (HGN)
  • and walk and turn
  • Stand on one leg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created these three tests — collectively referred to as the “standardized FST battery” — in the 1970s to assist officers in determining a motorist’s level of impairment. The NHTSA decided after completing research that the standardized FSTs were reliable markers of a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) of.1% or above.

PAS Examinations

A PAS device (alternatively referred to as a “portable breath test” (PBT) machine) is a portable instrument used by police to determine a driver’s breath alcohol content. The PAS results are not always as trustworthy as breathalyzer or blood test results obtained at a police station or hospital. However, the advantage of these gadgets is that they provide authorities with a quick and straightforward means to assess a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The aim of a PAS test is not to gather evidence for court, but to determine if there is probable cause to arrest someone for DUI.

Reports from the Police

The majority of individuals are curious to see the DUI police report, which details the incident in the officer’s own words. In most places, the police report is not available until the arraignment, the first day of court. Because the report details the evidence against you, it is critical for determining the best course of action in your case. By studying the police record, a competent DUI attorney can frequently determine the state’s strengths and flaws.

Chemical Testing Requirements and Implied Consent

Each of the 50 states has enacted “implied consent” statutes requiring motorists apprehended lawfully for DUI to submit to chemical testing. The goal of the testing—which is typically performed on the driver’s breath or blood—is to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in his or her system. Drivers who refuse to submit to testing typically risk the following consequences:

  • suspension of license
  • penalties, and
  • requiring installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Additionally, if the case proceeds to trial, the prosecution is typically permitted to inform the jury about the defendant’s rejection. In some places, refusing a chemical test might result in a second criminal charge. A refusal in these states can result in two distinct criminal convictions: one for DUI and another for the refusal. The United States Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2016 that laws criminalizing refusal to submit to a blood test were unconstitutional. However, the Court stated that it is typically acceptable for a legislation to make refusing to submit to a breath test a crime. (For additional information on the Supreme Court ruling, see DUI Testing: Breath, Blood, and Warrants.)

Are You Arrested, Detained, or Released?

If police believe they have probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated, you will almost certainly be handcuffed and sent to a nearby jail or police station. When you are arrested for a DUI, the police will normally confiscate your driver’s license and issue you with a temporary paper permit. Generally, the interim permit is valid until the court or the department of motor vehicles decides whether to suspend your license. Police will book and cite you for the infraction at the jail or police station. Generally, you’ll remain in jail until someone posts bail or a judge releases you on your “own recognizance.” If you are arrested on a Friday and are not released on bail, you may spend the entire weekend in jail. The good news is that you will receive credit for time spent in jail against any future term imposed.

Obtain Legal Assistance

If you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced DUI attorney. DUI laws vary each state, and each case is unique. A experienced DUI attorney can assist you in comprehending the applicable laws in your state and explaining any viable defenses you may have.

Additional Resources:

Washington Motorcycle Accidents & Personal Injury Lawsuits

Although the rainy state of Washington is not recognized for its motorcycle-friendly weather, the Evergreen State still has more than 220,000 registered motorcycles—roughly one for every 33 citizens.

Unfortunately, motorcycle riders are significantly more likely to die or have serious injuries in a crash than passenger car drivers.

In this article, we’ll discuss Washington motorcycle accidents, including the rules that motorcycle riders should be aware of, how liability is determined following a motorcycle accident, and the average damages that can be claimed.

Around one in every five motorcycle accidents results in serious injury or death. Each year, on average, 75 riders are killed in incidents on Washington’s highways.

Washington motorcycle rules of the road

Motorcyclists, like other road users, must adhere to the road’s laws.

Motorcycle riders, for example, must respect all traffic signals and posted speed restrictions. Additionally, motorcyclists, like all other road users, are required to exercise “due care” to prevent endangering others.

Additionally, riders in Washington must adhere to some motorcycle-specific restrictions.

Washington’s motorbike legislation

All of Washington’s motorcycle laws are contained in Title 46 of the Revised Code of Washington, but the following points are important for motorcyclists to remember:

All motorcycle operators and passengers must wear helmets certified by the US Department of Transportation.

Unless the operator is wearing glasses, goggles, or a face shield, all motorbikes must be fitted with a windshield.

Motorcycle riders are not permitted to transport passengers unless the motorcycle is specifically intended to do so.

Motorcycle handlebars may not be raised above the seat by more than 30 inches.

Splitting lanes is completely forbidden on Washington state highways.

All motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane, and no motor vehicle shall be operated in such a way as to deny any motorbike that use.

Motorcycles shall not be operated in a single lane more than two abreast.
A child under the age of five is not permitted to ride a motorcycle.

Liability determination following a motorbike accident

Motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility to exhibit reasonable care on the road in order to avoid injuring others. If a motorcycle rider or a driver of a motor vehicle violates this responsibility and an accident occurs, the at-fault party may be held accountable.

The most frequently used legal theory to hold the at-fault person accountable is carelessness, which requires the plaintiff to show three elements:

The defendant owed a responsibility to the plaintiff,

The defendant violated their fiduciary obligation, and

The plaintiff’s injuries were legally caused by the breach.

While the majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by either a rider or a motor vehicle driver, this is not always the case. There are a few additional persons who could be held accountable for your accident:

Property Owners:  Premises liability regulations require property owners to keep their premises safe. If a motorcyclist is harmed on someone else’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, the property owner may be held accountable.

Manufacturers are required by product liability rules to avoid releasing defective products onto the market. If a motorcycle rider is killed as a result of a defective product (such as a malfunctioning brake system), the product’s producer may be held accountable.

Q: How can I get an attorney that can assist me with my motorbike accident case?

Our experienced attorneys at Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton with 100+ years of combined experienced can help you with your Washington State Motocycle injury claim. The majority of initial consultations are complimentary.