4 Mistakes That Can Take a Delaware DUI Case from Bad to Worse
Drunk driving remains a top cause of accidents throughout the US, which is why police take their duty to protect the public very seriously. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), law enforcement officers made more than 4,000 arrests for DUI in 2018. These individuals face serious penalties for a conviction, including jail time, fines, community service, and other implications. Plus, aside from the criminal side of the case, there are consequences through administrative proceedings in a DUI. The minimum driver’s license suspension is 12 months, and it increases for subsequent offenses and higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels.
However, OHS records indicate that 88 percent of arrests involved first-time drunk driving offenses. They had never been pulled over and/or arrested, so they probably made numerous mistakes during the encounter with police. In a similar situation, you should contact a Delaware drunk driving defense attorney right away and avoid these mistakes that can make a DUI worse.
- Leaving Telltale Evidence Visible: You will have a few moments after stopping and before the officer arrives at your car. Use this time wisely to get rid of any open bottles, cans, and other evidence that you have been drinking. Though it will not fool a breathalyzer, grab a mint or gum to disguise your breath when talking to the officer.
- Refusing to Blow: Delaware’s implied consent law requires you to submit to chemical testing, and there are harsh implications if you decline. You face an immediate license suspension for a year or more, and you could still be convicted for DUI: Officers can testify that you were impaired even without BAC evidence, and proof of your refusal can be used in court.
- Getting Chatty with Officers: While you should always be polite and respectful, avoid small talk with police. You may inadvertently reveal facts that could harm your rights, such as statements about where you were going to or coming from when pulled over.
- Failing to Take Advantage of Delaware’s First Offender Program (FOP): If this is your first arrest for drunk driving, you may be eligible for a program that reduces the harsh penalties and consequences of a DUI conviction. Through the process, you are placed on probation and must comply with the terms ordered by the judge. Your driver’s license will not be suspended; however, Delaware motorists will also need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles for four months. At the conclusion of your probation, the charges are dismissed. Even though the FOP remains part of your criminal record, you avoid the most severe penalties for a DUI conviction.
Contact a Delaware DUI Defense Lawyer to Discuss Legal Options
When you avoid these mistakes that can take a drunk driving case from bad to worse, you protect your rights and support your attorney’s efforts to defend your interests. To learn more about how we can help you fight DUI charges, please contact Wilmington driving under the influence (DUI) lawyer Michael W. Modica office. You can set up a consultation by calling 302.600.1262 or visiting us online.