Hampton Roads DUI Stops

Hampton Roads Police Officers often look for certain behavior patterns before pulling over a driver for possible DUI. If an officer is conducting routine patrol and see somebody committing a traffic offense (speeding, running a red light, etcetera), that does not necessarily, in and of itself, indicate intoxication.

To learn more about your rights during Hampton Roads DUI stops, it may be critical to await the help of an attorney before speaking with police. A bright DUI attorney can help you fight for your rights and reputation throughout this process.

What is the DUI Stop Process?

During Hampton Roads DUI stops, police officers may be looking for the driver’s failure to maintain control of the vehicle which is evidenced by the vehicle swerving in and out of lanes or bouncing around the driving lanes and crossing the median line. The vehicle could be cutting individuals off in traffic or making improper turns. Any of these events would suggest the individual is not able to properly drive their vehicle.

When an officer pulls someone over for possible DUI, they ask for the individual’s license and registration. From there, if an officer suspects the individual is intoxicated, they will often ask the individual a series of questions about what they were doing that night such as whether they had anything to drink.

How Do Officers Determine the Sobriety of the Driver?

If the officer at the scene believes that the individual is intoxicated, they may ask the individual to step out of the car. At this time they will ask the individual to perform a field sobriety test, to test the individual’s coordination and their ability to follow instructions.

At the completion of those tests, depending on how the individual performs, they may offer the individual what is called a portable breath test (“PBT”). Once that is done, if they believe at that point that they have probable cause to suspect the individual is intoxicated, they will arrest the individual for driving under the influence.

Vehicle Search Expectations

During Hampton Roads DUI stops, officers can search without consent, but they have to show probable cause that a crime has been committed in that area or they need what is called reasonable articulable suspicion to conduct limited searches under certain circumstances.

If they are arresting an individual and want to make sure that the individual does not have any weapons or contraband, they can search the individual and the inside of the car, but only for those specific things. An individual is not required to let an officer search the vehicle. If the officer asks the individual, the individual can say yes or no.

What is Implied Consent?

In Virginia, if an individual is operating a vehicle on a public highway, they have inherently implied consent to any sort of blood or breath test of alcohol if they are validly arrested for driving under the influence and charged within three hours of the alleged driving offense.

Understanding Driver Rights During a DUI Stop

Unfortunately, the courts have said that an individual does not have the right to an attorney while they are being interrogated for a DUI. The individual does not have a right to speak with a lawyer until they are after arrested.

However, Hampton Roads DUI stops without Miranda rights are legal. The rights on these types of cases do not apply until after the individual has been arrested. Any statements the individual makes after arrest, if they have not been properly Mirandized, would likely be inadmissible. However, any statements made prior to the arrest and anything done by the officer would still be admissible.

Mistakes to Avoid During a Driving Under the Influence Stop

When individuals are stopped for Hampton Roads DUI stops, the biggest mistake they make is that they talk too much. They may be putting their case in jeopardy by telling the officer that they have been drinking that night and telling them where they have been. An individual is not required to take any field sobriety tests and is not required to step out of the car. If the officer orders the individual out of the car, the individual has to get out of the car. If the officer asks the individual to do something, the individual is not required to do that. Individuals think that they do not have a chice, when they do have a choice.