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Those Accused of Drunk Driving Have Rights

The commonsense phrase "don't drink and drive" is seemingly straightforward. Yet, you can drink and drive. You just have to consume an amount of alcohol under the legal limit, and an amount which does not leave you in any way impaired. Sometimes, ensuring that you don't cross the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) line is more difficult than you might think. Can you have those two glasses of wine while out with friends and remain sober? Those few beers over the course of several hours with your buddies?

Motorists should do all they can to ensure that they never engage in drunk driving behavior. However, there are times when drivers over the legal limit find themselves on the road, and then being pulled to the side of the road by law enforcement. It is imperative in these situations that drivers understand that they have rights.

For example, you may not be pulled over unless law enforcement has reason to stop you. You may, even though you may incur penalties for doing so, choose to refuse blood alcohol testing in some situations. You are not obligated to submit to field sobriety tests in many situations. If you are arrested, you must be read your rights and allowed to contact an attorney.

The list of an individual's right in the event of drunk driving accusations goes on and on. In this blog, we hope to educate the public about these rights. We will explore what rights you have, how exercising them may impact your case and how more general criminal justice rights impact those who have been affected by DUI charges.

Source: National Motorists Association, "How To Protect Your Rights During A DUI Traffic Stop."

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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