What to do if You Get Stopped for a DUI or DWI

1. Locate a safe location to pull over.

Bear in mind that as soon as the officer decides to pull you over for a DUI or DWI, he begins making observations for the police report. To begin the stop, he has already noted something that he believes indicates you are driving while intoxicated or impaired. While you cannot change those observations at this time, the police report can significantly effect the outcome of any hearings in the future and your criminal trial relating to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. The officer will almost certainly take note of how you pull over. If you drive recklessly, abruptly slow down, or pull over in an unsafe area, the officer notes it in the report, adding another tick to the drunk or impaired column.

2. Avoid any abrupt or suspicious movements.
Officers are first and foremost educated to be cautious and to defend themselves. They constantly approach the automobile from behind, giving them a great view, and forcing the driver to totally turn around to shoot or assault them. Therefore, avoid making rapid movements, turning around to watch the police approach, jumping out of the car, or attempting to crouch in embarrassment. Indeed, your best course of action is to keep your hands on the wheel between the hours of 10:00 and 2:00 until the officer approaches your window and requests to see your identification.

3. Be courteous.
The apparent reason to treat the officer with respect is that you are significantly less likely to get detained if the officer believes you are being sincere. If you are disrespectful, insincere, or confrontational with the officer, the officer is much more likely to take offense, arrest you, and do all possible to condemn you, including producing a highly incriminating police report. If the officer requests that you exit the vehicle, you must obey or risk being punished with resisting arrest. Be extremely helpful and nice, as if you have nothing else to do than comply with the officer’s wishes, which you, quite frankly, do not. Naturally, avoid appearing disingenuous in your efforts to be helpful or kind, as this may be just as off-putting as direct sarcasm.

4. Avoid answering any questions that could be regarded as incriminating, but do not lie.
Police personnel are trained to exploit your fear of being pulled over. Individuals are significantly more inclined to incriminate themselves in this type of situation, particularly if they are not telling the truth. While you are required to provide the police officer with your name, license, registration, and insurance information, if the officer inquires as to whether you have been drinking or how much—and you are concerned about incriminating yourself—simply state, “I’m sorry, officer, but I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.” You will almost certainly face significant pressure at that point, you may be arrested, and your license may be automatically revoked, but none of those consequences are nearly as bad as serving time in jail for self-incrimination.

If you’ve had even one or just two drinks, you should use caution in stating so. With few exceptions, one or two drinks will not push you over the legal limit, but this varies by individual and drink, so when in doubt, stay silent.

It is never a good idea to lie. If you respond to a question, do so truthfully. If you lie and the officer is aware of it, the officer’s knowledge can and very certainly will be used against you in court.

5. Refusal to submit to a field sobriety test.
You are not legally required to administer a field sobriety test. Field sobriety tests are one of the most powerful tools an officer has to gather evidence against you, not because they are reliable markers of intoxication, but because they provide the officer with subjective observations upon which to base his determination that you are inebriated. Again, if you choose to refuse a field sobriety test it could result in the suspension of your driver’s license, but would you rather have a scientific examination determine that you were not drunk or impaired (and thus avoid jail time for DUI or DWI) or have a jury hear an hour of testimony from a uniformed police officer about how stinking drunk he subjectively believed you were based on a very unscientific field sobriety test?

6. Refuse to take a breathalyzer test using a hand-held device.
Roadside breathalyzers are notoriously unreliable, and their findings can be manipulated in an infinite number of ways. Refusing to “blow” almost always results in automatic license suspension, but this is far less serious than going to jail. Therefore, refrain from blowing while driving. On the other hand, you may be compelled to submit to additional testing at the police station, such as blood samples or a more sophisticated breathalyzer. If you are taken into custody and ordered to submit to these tests at the police station, do not refuse; otherwise, you will be charged with resisting arrest.

7. Submit to a chemical examination at the police station.
By law, you are required to submit to a chemical test at the police station. You can pick between a blood test and a breath test in the majority of states. Numerous DUI attorneys urge clients to submit to breath tests since they are more unreliable, allowing their legitimacy to be challenged more effectively in court.

8. Once released, jot down all you recall regarding your arrest.
The more detailed notes you keep concerning your arrest, the easier it will be for your attorney to defend you against the allegations. Because fresh memories are frequently more accurate, do this as quickly as possible.

Make a list of anything that comes to mind, even if it does not seem quite relevant. For instance, the performance of numerous roadside sobriety tests can be influenced by factors such as the clothing you are wearing (tight skirt, high heels, etc.).

9. Speak with an attorney.
You require and deserve the services of a professional DUI or DWI defense attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. The most critical thing you can do for yourself is to retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with the applicable laws for each state and can assist you throughout the legal process.

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Dealing with an Auto Accident in Washington State

Have you been injured in a vehicle accident in the state of Washington? Nobody anticipates being involved in an accident, and it’s a stressful situation. Whether or not if you were responsible for the accident and are now seeking compensation, this article will walk you through the process of resolving an auto accident in Washington State.

We’ll guide you confidently through this tough circumstance, from the rules governing auto accidents in Washington State to the compensation you can expect.

The Fundamentals Of Washington State Automobile Accident Law

Washington is a state with a high rate of comparative carelessness. This means that whomever is at fault in an automobile accident is financially liable for the resulting damages. If many parties share responsibility, the damages obtained will be proportionately reduced.

Consider the following scenario: you are involved in an automobile accident and are determined to be jointly liable with the other driver. You and your vehicle are unharmed, but the other motorist has incurred a $20,000 monetary loss. They may sue you for $20,000, but they will only be awarded $10,000 due to your joint responsibility.

Additionally, Washington State law requires drivers to carry insurance to protect anyone who may be hurt in a car collision for which you are judged at fault.

The Financial Losses Involved In A Car Accident Case

In Washington State, the majority of traffic accidents are resolved through insurance settlement agreements rather than through a formal court proceeding. This is a less formal process that begins with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, demonstrating the extent of the harm.

The insurer will then conduct an inquiry of the claim and the supporting documentation. They will issue a compensation offer if they determine that their insurance policyholder is at fault. If you accept the offer, you will sign a contract agreeing not to pursue the issue further.

It is always prudent to check with a lawyer prior to accepting any settlement offer to ensure that you are receiving the best possible bargain.

Which Errors Should I Avoid Following A Car Accident?

Numerous divers make several critical errors following an automobile catastrophe. The following are the top ones to avoid.


1. Leaving the Accident Scene

It is illegal to flee the scene of an accident in which you were involved if there has been an injury or damage to another person’s car. You are required to pull over and exchange insurance and contact information in order to file a claim later.

If someone is hurt, it is also considered common politeness to ensure they receive proper medical treatment prior to leaving the site.


2. Acknowledgement of Fault

Never mention anything that could be regarded as admitting fault if you were not the cause of the accident. For instance, refrain from apologizing to the other motorist if you were not at blame or are unsure who was at fault.

Additionally, you should exercise extreme caution while communicating with insurance providers. Though you concede fault to an insurance provider, you risk invalidating any subsequent claims, even if you are technically entitled to reimbursement.


3. Failure to Compile Evidence

Being involved in a vehicle accident is stressful, even more so if it is severe. However, it is critical to photograph the scene for subsequent use as evidence. You should attempt to acquire photographs or video from as many angles as possible prior to moving any cars.

Additionally, photograph or record any stop signs, lights, or barriers that obstruct your view of the road. Additionally, take a photo of the license plate of the opposing vehicle to confirm you have the correct information.


4. Failure to Consult a Physician

If you are injured in an automobile accident, get medical attention immediately. This is especially crucial if you have had a significant injury, such as whiplash.

Even if you do not believe this is essential, you should still see a doctor for an assessment. The physician’s report will provide more evidence in support of your argument. This is one of the first documents that insurance companies will want if you file a personal injury claim.


Acceptance of the Initial Insurance Offer

Insurance companies’ initial settlement offers are virtually usually less than what they are ready to pay. However, the majority of people immediately accept this and go on. You may be entitled to substantially more than they are offering, which is why it is prudent to have an attorney analyze the settlement and advise you.


6. Refusing to Hire an Attorney

Many consumers feel that they do not require the services of an attorney in order to file an insurance claim. However, as we have seen, insurance companies frequently underpay claimants, and you may receive less than you deserve. Additionally, interacting with an insurance company can be unpleasant, particularly if you are healing from an injury.

What Happens If There Is An Accident In Washington State And I Am Uninsured?

Driving a vehicle without insurance is banned in Washington State. If you are involved in an accident without insurance, the Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your license if someone is harmed or a minimum of $1000 in damages is sustained.

Within 180 days after the accident, you will receive a suspension notification informing you how to prevent or appeal the suspension.

Your license may be suspended for up to three years and you may be required to pay a $75 reinstatement fee, depending on the severity of the collision.

Of course, if you’re impaired by alcohol or proven guilty of careless driving and cause an accident, you face legal consequences and a possible prison sentence.

How Much Money Do Car Accidents Typically Recover?

There is no way to determine the average settlement amount in Washington State because each accident is unique. A minor collision with minor damage may result in a maximum of $1000 in damages. On the other hand, a serious accident resulting in catastrophic injury or death may result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and harm.


Several subjective elements that have a substantial impact on the settlement amount include the following:


  • The severity of the damage
  • Earnings loss (if a someone is unable to work owing to an injury)
  • Accident cause (whether reckless driving or alcohol was involved)
  • Suffering and anguish (for example, if lifelong injuries have been sustained that cause mental and emotional suffering)

At Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton, we handle accident cases on a daily basis and has the strategies and relationships necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Do You Require an Attorney to Represent You in a Car Accident Case?

Being involved in a vehicle accident is a very stressful and frequently traumatic experience. If you’ve been involved in an accident and sustained injuries, CCRS can assist you in obtaining fair compensation. Whether you’ve incurred physical injuries, lost wages, vehicle damage, or emotional distress, you deserve compensation.

Caron, Colven, Robison & Shafton specializes in auto accident claims. If you have sustained a personal injury in a car accident, contact them immediately and allow them to handle your case. They’ll ensure that you receive the most favorable settlement possible.