Many Hawaii motorists know that the state takes an extremely aggressive stance against impaired driving. The city of Honolulu has a large number of law enforcement officers looking for drunk drivers every single day.
Whether you are visiting the city or live somewhere on Oahu, you need to be aware of the potentially serious consequences that you may experience if you are convicted of a DUI offense. In this post, we wanted to discuss three things that you might not be aware of when it comes to a DUI stop and the eventual case that follows afterward.
You can decline field sobriety tests
Many motorists simply take these tests in an effort to try to show cooperation to the police. When the officer requests the individual to take part in the tests, the officer is really looking for signs of impairment. Police are hoping that you say yes to their requests, as this often provides them the essential information they need to make an arrest. To make matters worse, the tests are often recorded, giving prosecutors valuable evidence to use against you.
You can always decline the field sobriety tests. This does not mean that the police will simply then let you go. It will not bring the traffic stop to a close. They will still have other things that they can do to investigate for signs of impairment. Chances are, if you refuse the roadside tests, you will probably be arrested for DUI.
Your license may be suspended soon after your arrest
This is something that many people just do not know. In a DUI, there are two parts to every case. The first part is the civil side, which concerns the suspension of your driver's license, and the second part is the criminal side of your case.
With the civil portion of your case, you must request a hearing in order to avoid an automatic suspension of your license. If you do not request this hearing within the very strict time limits after your arrest, your license will be suspended. Additionally, if you are eventually able to defeat the criminal part of your case, your license will remain suspended for the entire term of the suspension even if you were not convicted of a crime.
An experienced lawyer is a critical part of your defense strategy
You might be terrified of having to face a DUI charge, but, you have to mount an aggressive defense in these cases. You have too much to lose by not fighting back. Your career and future are at risk if you are convicted. An attorney can help you determine exactly what to do in order to take advantage of the right opportunities in your situation.