What to do when stopped for DUI


By Donald Beury, Attorney at Law

            Do you want to know how to avoid being arrested for Driving under the Influence?  Well, don’t drive after you’ve been drinking.  Well that settles that.  What?, You’re still here?  Ok, since you failed to heed my advice I just gave you, let’s talk about what to do after you have been stopped by a police officer who thinks that you might be over the legal limit. 

            Getting arrested for DUI is a result of poor planning on your part.  If you intended to drink when you went out you should have made a plan for getting home that does not involve potentially killing someone or spending the night in jail.  You might be truly amazed at the number of people arrested for DUI, that had passengers in their car that were not under the influence, so let the person who hasn’t been drinking do the driving. 

            But, if your like most ordinary people, your driving alone and maybe had too much to drink at the “happy hour” or at the weekend BBQ party and you just want to get home to bed.  This is where my suggestions come in:

DO:  The First this to do is be polite.  It goes without saying that politeness counts and police officers are like other people and would prefer that people be polite.  Caution: This is not to say that you should be co-operative.  Do not help the police convict you of a crime.

            DON’T:  Admit to anything.  The police are there to convict you of a crime.  Do not help them.  Even if you’ve been drinking all day, do not admit that you have been drinking.  You have a right to remain silent and a right against self-incrimination.   Do not tell the officer that you have been drinking anything.  It will be tough because the officer wants you to tell him that you’ve been drinking.  Its how he can move on to the next step.  And in the report it goes.  Officers want you to admit to drinking, so Don’t.  It’s important that you not admit to it. You got yourself into this mess, be tough enough to get yourself out.

            And don’t compromise yourself by trying that old “I’ve only had two beers” defense.  That never works.  Admitting that you had two beers admits that you have been drinking.   Do not help.  The fact that you’ve been drinking is for you to know and for the Officer to find out.

            DO: Tell the officer your name, your address, your occupation.  You are after all a law abiding citizen, and you want to act like one.  And then be quiet and stand firm.

            DON’T:  Do not take the Field Sobriety Test, do not let them administer the Gaze Nystagmus test or the PAS test.  I’ll explain what they are:  The Field Sobriety Test is the old walk this line, lean back and touch your nose, recite the alphabet backwards, and those types of things.  These are designed to give the officer the right to arrest you.  They are nearly impossible to do without losing balance or becoming confused.  Try them when you are stone cold sober.  Everyone sways or get confused.  Its just a device to create evidence that you were intoxicated. And to top it off it is false evidence.

            Nystagmus test is where the officer shines his light into your eyes. The Officer is looking for dilating pupils and is attempting to add these observations to his log report.   The officer looks in your eyes and pronounces you guilty.  Refuse to do it.  One client of mine, refused.  The officer persisted and she persisted in putting her head down.   She permitted me to use her name, “Bree Olson”. He was never forced to perform the test.     

Finally there is the P.A.S. (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) test.   It is a small portable and unreliable breath test administered on the side of the road. Refuse to do it.  Like the Field Sobriety and the Gaze Nystagmus test the law in California does not require you to take these tests and there is no penalty for refusing.  The officers will tell you, repeatedly,  to “. . . take the test because it could show you are not intoxicated and therefore you will not go to jail.”  But flip that statement over.  Do the test and provide the officer with the evidence he needs to arrest you.










            Lets say you don’t admit to drinking.  You don’t participate in the Field Sobriety Test, the Gaze Nystagmus or the P.A.S. test, what does the officer have to go on?  He can say you looked drunk.  But he will be forced to say that he does not know you and does not know how you normally look.  He can say you had slurred speech.  But again he does not know you and has no idea how you normally speak.  Assuming you weren’t severely drunk, and we are not talking about severe drunks, we’re talking about the poor guy who is near the legal limit, the officer would have nothing to go on.  As in the case of Bree Olson , she DID NOT!!! admit to drinking, she refused all of the tests, and as a result, the police called her attorney  (Me, Donald Beury ph# 916-801-4182) and the police let her go home.


Why did Bree Olson “win” essentially and slept in her own bed that night?   She simply followed my instructions from A to Z  and had me on speed dial.  Once the police officer called me and confirmed her story about having an attorney willing to come and get her, than that was it- the would be case was now closed for good.   So, the cops call me and release her into my own custody, thereby, skipping all parts of the normal and dreadful   DUI.

            DO: Call  me Donald Beury  Ph# 916-801-4182.  So again, you can get out of this with my help.   Assert your right to remain silent and your right to an Attorney.  If you live in the greater Sacramento area, you have my permission to use my name as your attorney.  Have the police call me,  if I am available I will take the call.  This shows that you are serious about protecting your rights and are willing to fight this case.  Cops do not like to have to go to court for people who stand up for themselves.  The police officers  like people who take all the tests and then plead guilty and pay huge fines that indirectly pay their salaries. 


            Blood or Breath:  Now this step is very important……You must submit to a blood or breath test.  The penalty for refusing is that your license is suspended for a year and the jury will be instructed that you were advised of your right to a blood or breath test and your refusal should be construed as an admission of guilt.  But if you have done what we have told you so far there is little need.   I can help at any of these various steps of the dreadful DUI.  And I don’t judge anyone.


(Donald Beury, ESQ.,    Ph# 916-801-4182,  lawyer in California and Nevada.)