What shouldn't you say after a DUI arrest? A YouTube video confession from an offender who committed a fatal DUI has gone viral, and despite 22-year-old Matthew Cordle's heartfelt pact to take full responsibility for his actions, the consequences and the unfortunate death of his victim had already occurred.
If you've been pulled over for a DUI, certain things may already be out of your hands. For Cordle, it was the fact that someone was killed due to his actions.
This is a good reminder to make sure you make the right choices following a DUI incident, including what you say. Here are some important things not to say after a DUI arrest:
- Don't complain about your Miranda rights. If you are pulled over and an officer begins questioning you without reading you your Miranda rights, there is typically no constitutional violation. Miranda protections only apply when you are in custody of the police, and a traffic stop is generally not considered full-on custody.
- Don't lie. Lying will get you nowhere. Especially if you deny that you are under the influence and it is apparent to an officer that you are. In a proper DUI stop, an officer already has reasonable suspicion to pull you over, so lying about your intoxication would only further this suspicion. There is also no good way to refuse a field sobriety test, which will only confirm an officer's suspicions about your lie and your sobriety.
- Don't refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Every state has its own version of an "implied consent" law and Georgia is no exception. This law states that when you apply for a driver's license, you automatically consent to field sobriety tests and chemical tests to determine impairment when you are pulled over. If you refuse to submit to testing when an officer has reasonable suspicion, this could mean an automatic license suspension -- a possible one year suspension in Georgia.
- Don't forget to hire an attorney. While many things in life do not require lawyers, a DUI unfortunately does. DUIs are rarely processed in court without representation, and an experienced DUI attorney can help you sort out your case and get you the best result possible under your circumstances.
Lastly, remember that while there are definitely things you shouldn't do or say after a DUI arrest, the only surefire way to avoid a DUI is to never drink and drive.
- No-Refusal DUI Enforcement (FindLaw)
- DUI Offense Basics (FindLaw)
- Should I Take a Blood Test or a Breathalyzer Test if I am Asked? (FindLaw)
- 10 Things You Shouldn't Do During a DUI Stop (FindLaw's Blotter)