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Detroit Legal Blog

5 Tips for Navigating DUI Stops in Detroit

May 15, 2024, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, OWI

Drunk driving can be dangerous to other drivers, pedestrians, and even the alleged defendant. When officers suspect drunk driving, they can pull the driver over.

It’s understandable to feel stressed when you’re stopped while driving. You may feel you will get accused of drunk driving even when you are operating a vehicle legally.

Understand that these feelings are normal. It is possible to remain calm and get through the stop without any issues. Learn more about these stops and what to expect. A skilled Michigan DUI lawyer can help you if you get in trouble.

Understanding Michigan DUI Stops

Law enforcement is charged with protecting the public. One of the ways officers try to help reduce drunk driving includes getting suspected drunk drivers off of the roads. This typically starts during a traffic stop.

Some states have determined they can stop drivers at DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints. However, Michigan is one of 12 states that has determined these stops are illegal under the state constitution.

So if police see suspicious behavior, they can initiate a traffic stop to evaluate your condition.

What to Do While Interacting With the Police

When you’re pulled over, make sure to do the following:

1. Stay Calm

Remember, being stopped doesn’t mean you are suspected of DUI. Maintaining composure will help you think clearly and interact with officers calmly.

2. Follow Instructions

During a stop, officers will likely request your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. Keep these documents accessible and provide them promptly.

If asked to step out of the vehicle, do so smoothly, and avoid leaning on your car. Always address officers respectfully and avoid confrontational behavior.

3. Limit Your Responses

Answer the officer’s questions succinctly without volunteering extra information. Innocuous comments can sometimes be misconstrued and used against you in legal proceedings.

4. Do Not Turn Away

Attempting to avoid a stop by turning around can raise suspicion. Officers monitor approaching vehicles closely, and evasive maneuvers could lead to further scrutiny or legal issues.

5. Consult a DUI Attorney if Arrested

If arrested, contact a skilled DUI attorney immediately. At Davis Law Group, we specialize in DUI defense in Detroit and surrounding areas like Flint, Port Huron, and Southfield. Our experienced team can scrutinize the circumstances of your encounter, challenge prosecutorial claims, and develop a robust defense strategy.

Michigan DUIs FAQs

What happens if I am under 21 and stopped for a DUI?

Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21 consuming alcohol. If you are under 21 and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.00% but less than 0.08%, you may still face DUI charges under the zero-tolerance law. Penalties can include fines, community service, and driving restrictions.

Can I legally refuse to participate in a sobriety test at a DUI Stop?

In Michigan, you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests and portable breathalyzer tests without legal penalties such as fines or imprisonment.

However, refusing a test can lead to your arrest and mandatory chemical testing under Michigan’s implied consent law, which could result in license suspension and other penalties if refused.

Can I Defend Against DUI Charges?

You should absolutely fight against DUI charges, even if it appears the police have concrete evidence. You are still innocent until proven guilty. By working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can devise a strategy to fight your charges.

What Kind of Defenses Can I Use in a DUI Case?

You and your attorney will need to review the evidence in your case to establish a good defense strategy. You can fight a Michigan DUI charge by arguing the stop was illegal, your BAC test results were inaccurate, or that the police did not have significant evidence to arrest you. Using a motion for discovery, your attorney can fight to poke holes in the prosecution’s case.

What Happens if I’m Convicted of a DUI?

You can face extensive penalties after a DUI conviction. Besides incarceration and fines, you can expect to lose your driver’s license for a time, you may lose your job, you might pay more for car insurance, or your car could be impounded. Your best option to protecting your future after a DUI arrest is to work with a Michigan criminal defense lawyer.

Charged with a DUI? Contact Davis Law Group

Being arrested for a DUI can have serious consequences. Davis Law Group has represented numerous clients in Detroit, Flint, Port Huron, and Southfield who have been in this situation, and we are prepared to help you. Contact us today at (313) 818-3238 to learn more.

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