Prince William County DUI Stops and Checkpoints
DUIs are heavily enforced in Prince William County, and if you are pulled over and you have been drinking, you should expect to be at the very least investigated under the suspicion of DUI. If you are investigated, it is important you consult with a Prince William County DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
How Officers Decide Whether to Arrest Someone for a DUI
There are a number of different factors that go into it. If an officer pulls you over and detects an odor of alcohol, they are very likely to ask if you have been drinking, and if you respond ‘Yes,’ that is certainly a factor that will work against you.
At that point it is very likely that the officers are going to conduct what are called standardized Field Sobriety Tests where you do heel-to-toe walk, one leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus, and perhaps a few others. How a person performs on those tests will weigh heavily on whether or not the officer is going to place you under arrest.
Finally, there is something called a preliminary breath test, which is a breath test that is taken out there on the side of the road. If a person elects to take that test, certainly those results will weigh heavily on whether or not the person is placed under arrest.
Officers make a concerted effort to look for DUIs. If a person is driving erratically or in a way that otherwise appears to indicate impairment, then they are definitely going to pull you over.
How officers decide to charge someone with a drug-related DUI in Prince William County is obviously something that is taken on a case by case basis. If a person is exhibiting signs of impairment, but there is no alcohol present, then they might be subjected to Field Sobriety Test. If the person is not doing well on the Field Sobriety Test, but yet they don’t smell alcohol on the person, perhaps they might submit to a preliminary breath test that shows there is no alcohol in the person’s system, but they might still elect to arrest that person if it seems clear to the officer that the person is otherwise impaired.
After a DUI Arrest
If you have been arrested for a DUI after a DUI stop or checkpoint, then you will very likely be charged with driving under the influence. Your court date will be at the Prince William County Courthouse, where DUI cases are heard. Misdemeanor DUI cases are heard by the District Court, whereas felony DUI cases will ultimately be heard in Circuit Court.
Knowledgeable Attorneys Can Help
When dealing with a DUI case, it is important to look for an attorney who has substantial experience with the law enforcement practices used at Prince William County DUI stops and, if it applies to your case, checkpoints. DUIs have a very specific body of case law regarding the proper procedures officers need to use to lawfully obtain admissible evidence.