What Happens During a Virginia DUI Stop
After the police vehicle has stopped behind you, the officer will get out and approach your car. They will ask to see your driver's license and proof of your car insurance.
If the officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, you must comply with the request. If you fail to do so, this will likely result in your arrest.
It's likely that the Virginia police officer has already decided that you have been drinking and throughout the entire traffic stop, he or she will be looking for signs that you have consumed alcohol or drugs.
Some of the indicators that police use to make this determination include:
- The smell of alcohol or drugs
- A complexion that is flushed
- Eyes that are watery or bloodshot
- Speech that is slurred or incoherent
- Motor skills that are slow or clumsy (such as fumbling to find your driver's license)
Of course, many of these factors can be attributed to other causes, such as illness or simply nerves. Be aware that an officer's preconceptions about your sobriety are likely to color how they read the situation.
Appropriate Conduct During a Virginia DUI Stop
Even though you may be nervous, scared, or angry during the traffic stop, it is important to remain calm and focused. Insults, sarcasm, and complaints will not help your case, and may work against you if they are recorded in the police report. Furthermore, uncooperative behavior could escalate into a confrontation with the officer, which may even lead to an arrest.
Generally speaking, if the officer asks you to do something, you should do it, even if you think it is unfair. Keep notes of what you are asked to do, as this may count as a key piece of evidence in your defense case and your Virginia DUI lawyer may be able to use this information during your trial. Refusing an officer's command could result in a charge of resisting arrest, even if you do not actually assault the officer.
A common question from an officer in these situations is whether you have consumed any alcohol or illicit substances. You are not required to answer this question, and you cannot be arrested for refusing to do so. However, if you have not been drinking or using drugs, it is in your best interest to let the officer know.
The officer may also ask you to take a roadside breath analyzer test. Again, you are not required to comply with this request however, since Virginia is an "implied consent" state, your license may be suspended for failure to submit to this type of testing at the police station or hospital.
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