When the holiday season approaches, New York law enforcement officials will be on the lookout for people who find themselves driving under the influence. Additional DUI / sobriety checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols, and extra cops will be deployed in an effort to crackdown on DUIs. This means sober drivers along with intoxicated drivers will undoubtedly be stopped as well as investigated for this offense…and that before the police officer even speaks to the driver…he/she will believe that he’s going to make a DUI arrest.
My advice? Don’t help encourage that conclusion! As a New York DUI defense attorney I repeatedly see clientele who may have had his or her charges dismissed…or perhaps never even filed…had they simply remained silent.
Remaining silent is your right…you have no obligation to aid the cops out by incriminating yourself. The problem is that many individuals believe that they will be able to reason their way out of their DUI arrest. Believe me, this isn’t the case!
POLITELY advise the officer that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t answer any questions about when you were drinking, the amount you were consuming, where you were drinking, etc. Just politely keep reminding the officer that you need to stay silent.
In all likelihood, you will likely be arrested. Nonetheless, your silence will make it more difficult for any prosecutor to obtain a conviction.
And incredibly important is this advice – if you do choose to answer questions, do not lie to the detective. If you deny drinking when you in reality were…and ultimately undergo a chemical DUI blood or breath test…your credibility will be shot if you produce a result that is above New York’s lawful limit. The prosecutor, judge and jury may have problems taking into account whatever it is that you express and may be more inclined to believe the police officer than they likewise would have.
The bottom line is when you continue to be silent; it will be a lot harder for the prosecutor to convict you of driving under the influence. Without a timeline of when you were drinking, what you were drinking, what medications you were taking, when you last slept, etc., they can only rely on the officer’s observations and the results of the chemical test. Both of these can be simply challenged by a savvy DUI defense legal professional. And the rest then gets to be part of the defense.
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