An Albuquerque woman has been generating headlines for her decisively quirky antics during a DUI stop. Police body cam footage of 23-year-old Bryelle Marshall's DUI stop shows her doing cartwheels as police delivered instructions for a field sobriety test. Marshall's behavior is hardly commonplace but does call attention to the do's and don'ts of a DUI stop. Let's go over the basics.
First of all, police need probable cause to pull you over. Reckless driving, a traffic violation, a vehicle safety equipment defect: these are all reasons you could get pulled over and possibly investigated for drunk driving. “Preventative maintenance” to avoid traffic stops, in general, is a wise move. Regularly check your headlights, tail lights, clearance lights, brake lights, turn signals, and license plate lights as a measure to avoid getting pulled over. Wearing your seat belt and keeping all safety equipment up to par are good common sense tips to eliminate some of the sources of ‘probable cause' for traffic stops.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, it may be advantageous to keep a few handy tips in mind, including:
- License And Registration: Keep your license and registration in an easily accessible place. Do this so as to avoid fishing for these documents when you are stopped.
- Hand Placement: Keep your hands on the wheel. This is a good initial step as it lets the officer know they are in a safe situation and the ‘suspect' is not carrying a weapon or seeking to harm them. If you need to reach for something that is not visible, let the officer know what you are reaching for and make sure he or she is okay you doing so.
- Watch Your Words: Do not volunteer information in an attempt to seem more “cooperative.” This one's important. Be courteous, but limited in what you say. Recall the excerpted Miranda right we all know, “anything you say can and will be held against you…” No matter how inconsequential something you say may seem, there is a chance it could being used against you later on. Making unnecessary concessions in an attempt to ‘cooperate' will not mitigate the charges you could get. If anything, it could add to them, or give a prosecutor more evidence against you.
- Right To Silence: Do not answer pointed questions. Where are you coming from? How much have you had to drink? When was your last meal? You are only required to answer questions that help establish your identity. Anything beyond that is potentially self-incriminating, and you have the right against self-incrimination. If you are not sure if an answer to a question will incriminate you, as a good rule of thumb, do not answer it. The vast majority of evidence for DUI charges is collected during the stop. The less evidential ammunition you give a prosecution, the better your chance at a favorable outcome.
If you are charged with a DUI in Cherokee County Georgia, you will need an experienced attorney to aggressively fight your charges and uphold your rights. Contact Cherokee County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today for a free consultation of your case.