If The Police Stop Your Car

Don’t exit the car unless ordered to do so. Unnecessary standing and walking gives the officer more opportunities to observe and critically analyze your appearance. It could also jeopardize your safety, as officers become alarmed when persons make unanticipated movements.

You may decline to answer questions concerning what and when you had been eating and drinking and where you are coming from. This information can be of assistance to the prosecutor. You may lawfully decline to perform physical tests (walk the line, touch the finger to the nose, balance with one legged raised, etc.). If you believe you will perform well when taking physical tests, you may agree to do so only if being videotaped either by a dashboard mounted video camera or once arriving at a police station equipped with DUI video equipment. However, law enforcement agencies are not obligated to provide or make use of videotaping equipment.

West Palm Beach DUI lawyer Ryan Fabrel advises that if your case proceeds to trial and you have declined to perform physical tests, some judges will not permit jurors to be told that you were offered and declined to take physical tests. Other judges will advise jurors that you exercised your lawful right to decline taking these tests.

Even if you feel confident that you can perform well on physical tests, be mindful that the stress of being under close watch of law enforcement can impair test taking skills. Also, law enforcement officers will assess your test taking performance very critically.


You may refuse to perform physical tests, as was previously described. Most states require you to submit to breath, blood and urine tests upon demand. Refusing to do so will lead to a prolonged drivers license suspension.


Inform the arresting officer if you suffer from diseases, handicaps, diabetes, asthma, a limp, painful bruises, lingering injuries or other conditions. Injuries and illnesses can make people appear impaired when they had not been drinking to excess or even if they had not been drinking or had not been using illegal drugs or lawful medications.


Treat all police officers and other law enforcement personnel politely and respectfully. When prosecutors consider making plea bargains and when judges make sentencing decisions, they will consider your arrest-related conduct. 


A challenge to the automatic drivers license suspension arising out of a DUI arrest must be filed within 10 days of an arrest or notice of suspension. Consult an attorney immediately. Police mistakes can lead to: 1) the exclusion of evidence; 2) reduced charges; or, 3) case dismissals. Health conditions (diagnosed and undiagnosed) and medications can sometimes cause police officers and alcohol test technicians to mistakenly believe you were drinking to excess. Police-administered alcohol tests can yield wrong results. Breath test machines are not always properly maintained and machine operators sometimes violate rules designed to prevent inflated readings. Improperly drawn blood can become contaminated before it is tested. When urine is stored improperly, chemical analysis test finding can be in error.