Stamford DUI Stops and Arrests
Before pulling an individual over for a possible DUI, Stamford officers will look for anything out of the ordinary. They are looking for clues that a person may be impaired, which include headlights that are off when it is dark out, failure to use a signal, blowing a stop sign, swerving, driving over the line, or driving the wrong way on a one-way road.
Anything that is out of the ordinary would cause a Stamford officer to possibly consider that a person is driving under the influence.
To understand the process of DUI stops and arrests in Stamford, it is crucial that an individual contact a lawyer immediately. A Stamford DUI attorney can prepare a defense to help lessen any penalties an individual may face as a result of a DUI conviction.
Typical Stop Process
After an officer pulls an individual over, they will walk up to the person’s window and ask them for their license and insurance information. They will also ask the person where they were going, where they were coming from, and if they had anything to drink that night.
While the person is getting their documents, the officer will be looking at them to see if they are having trouble getting their documents. If they think something is going on, smell the odor of alcohol, or see empty beverage cans in the vehicle, they will ask the person to step out of the car and perform a field sobriety test as part of the Stamford DUI stop.
Sometimes, officers will have the person perform tests that are not standard field sobriety tests, like saying the alphabet backwards or things like that, but almost every stop will have the three standard field sobriety tests.
Consenting to a Search
People do not need to consent to a search of their vehicle during a Stamford DUI stop. There are various ways a police officer can legally search a person’s car, and if they see something that is illegal in plain view, they can seize and search the car.
However, once the person is under arrest for DUI, the police can search the vehicle pursuant to their arrest.
The Connecticut legislature has passed a law that says when a person gets behind the wheel of a car in Connecticut, they are consenting to a blood alcohol test.
That is why they can penalize the person for refusing a blood alcohol test, because they are giving consent for them to do something and then revoking it later.
An Individual’s Rights
After the person has been arrested for a DUI in Stamford, the person has the right to an attorney, and the right to refuse the breathalyzer test.
There are penalties that are associated with that, but the person has the right to remain silent and the right to understand anything they say may, can, and will be used against them.
The biggest mistake to avoid in a Stamford DUI stop is to say too much to the police and try to talk their way out of the charge with lies.
During a DUI stop when a person is on the side of the road, they have the right to refuse the breath test but does not have the right to an attorney at that point. Further, they do not have the right to be advised of their Miranda Rights until they are actually placed under arrest.
A Stamford DUI stop is still legal even if an individual is not read their Miranda Rights. At the DUI stop, the person is not entitled to Miranda because they are not under arrest yet.
When the police officer is conducting the DUI stop and administering the field sobriety tests on the side of the road, they are looking to determine if the person is drunk, so the person has not yet been placed under arrest. After the person is placed under arrest, then they are entitled to Miranda.
Speaking to a Lawyer
Connecticut law says that a driver can speak to a lawyer after they have been placed under arrest after their Stamford DUI stop, but before they take the breathalyzer test. Then, the officer gives them an option if they want to refuse the breathalyzer test.
It is at that point that a person is allowed to speak to a lawyer. The person is not entitled to a lawyer when they are stopped on the side of the road for the field sobriety test.