It can be easy to come under suspicion of drunk driving in California. It takes very little alcohol consumption to be over the legal blood alcohol limit. It is more than conceivable that you could be legally driving drunk without even knowing it. It is quite possible that a law enforcement officer could pull you over for a DUI in California. If this happens, you should know what to expect and understand your rights.
The National Motorists Association explains that to pull you over for a DUI, an officer must have a lawful reason to do so. This means that you have broken a road law or your vehicle has an equipment violation, such as a broken taillight. Many DUI stops result from lights being out or some other physical issue with the vehicle.
Once an officer pulls you over, make sure that you follow all his or her instructions and provide the requested documentation. Keep your hands where the officer can see them until he or she asks you to do otherwise. You do not have to answer questions or provide the officer with anything other than your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
The officer can ask you to exit your vehicle and undergo field sobriety tests. While you do have to get out of your vehicle if the officer asks, you can decline to do the tests. The officer may administer a BAC test. Be aware that you will face penalties and probably go to jail if you refuse to submit to the test because you agreed to such a test by getting your driver’s license. Even if you refuse, a test can be administered if the officer obtains a search warrant. This information is for education and is not legal advice.