Chances are you have heard of your Miranda rights from books, movies or television, but did you know police can still collect incriminating evidence prior to your arrest if you make voluntary statements? Sometimes it is best not to say anything to police from the moment you are pulled over, especially if you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. You may even want to refuse to take a breath test if police ask you to at a DUI stop.
You have the right to remain silent
If you are stopped by police on suspicion of DUI, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions about where you are going or what you are doing. You can proactively invoke your right to remain silent by simply telling police you wish to remain silent.
The police must read you your Miranda rights if they place you under arrest for DUI, but it is essential that you do not say anything that could be used against you before or after your Miranda rights are read. Statements voluntarily made prior to the reading of your Miranda rights can be used against you.
You can refuse a breath test, but there may be consequences
Just as you have the right to remain silent, you may want to take other steps to prevent the police from obtaining any further incriminating evidence.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you may be asked to perform a breath test. However, you can refuse to do so. You may decide to refuse a breath test because you do not want the police to obtain any incriminating evidence that could be used against you, just like you would not want to make any incriminating statements.
However, it is important to note that there are consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test. Missouri has “implied consent” laws, meaning that as part of the privilege of driving all motorists agree to perform a breath test if lawfully asked to do so. While you can refuse a breath test, doing so could result in the revocation of your driver’s license for one year.
However, it is possible to have your license reinstated if you meet the qualifying criteria for doing so. You may also be granted a Limited Driving Privilege while your license is revoked to transport yourself to essential places such as work.
You can protect your civil rights
You have a constitutional right to remain silent if pulled over for DUI, and you must be read your Miranda rights when placed under arrest. However, the police may try to question you prior to arrest, and voluntary statements made then can be incriminating.
Many believe it is best simply not to say anything at all when pulled over on suspicion of DUI. You may even refuse to take a breath test. Doing so is within your rights and may work in your favor by preventing police from obtaining evidence that can be used against you in court.