DUI Pre-Arrest Checklist

Tell the officer you wish to use your right to speak privately with an attorney. Call West Virginia DUI attorney Todd La Neve TOLL-FREE, at 877-7WV-LAWS (877-798-5297).

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Pre-Arrest Checklist

West Virginia DUI investigations begin before you ever speak a word to the police. They are observing how you drive your vehicle, the way you act, and what you might be doing while they watch. Once they make the decision to stop you and begin a face to face interrogation, chances are they have already made the decision that you are going to jail.

You need to be ready to deal with the officer at the roadside and understand what is happening, what your rights are, and what you do or don’t have to do during the DUI investigation. Remember, the officer isn’t looking to make a new friend during his DUI investigation. He is doing his job of building a DUI case against you so he can arrest you and prosecute you in a West Virginia court for a DUI crime.

  • The Constitution guarantees you the right to remain - Use this right! You are allowed to decline to answer any questions asked by the police at all times. Do so politely. Tell the police you’ll cooperate, but that you wish to remain silent. West Virginia law does require that you identify yourself and provide your drivers license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
  • Roadside DUI sobriety tests (link to SFST page)(standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, following a pen or fingertip with your eyes, reciting the alphabet, etc.) are 100% voluntary, so don’t do them. The results of these tests are determined by an officer who already assumes you are guilty and they are often failed for reasons having nothing to do with alcohol. DUI field sobriety tests are not reliable for elderly suspects, suspects more than fifty pounds overweight, or suspects with physical disabilities or injuries, and are not reliable when improperly given, which happens frequently.
  • Refuse to submit to a hand held breath test at the roadside. There is no penalty for this no matter what the officer may say to convince you to submit. (There is a driver’s license penalty for refusing the desktop breath machine test at the station or other booking facility – click here (link to FAQs section on refusal of breath test) to learn more)
  • Tell the officer you wish to use your right to speak privately with an attorney. Call West Virginia DUI attorney Todd La Neve TOLL-FREE, at 877-7WV-LAWS (877-798-5297).
  • If you choose to provide a breath sample at the station or booking facility, insist on a blood test at a hospital. West Virginia law requires that the police provide this opportunity, although they won’t tell you about this right because the law doesn’t say they have to tell you.
  • Assume that every word you speak - from the first word the officer speaks to you until the last - is being recorded. The police often use video or audio recording devices, but they normally won’t tell you about it. Don't speak to anyone until you talk to West Virginia DUI lawyer Todd La Neve.

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