What can you expect if you’re pulled over in New Orleans for a DUI?

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We’ve all been there. 

For whatever reason, you see the blue lights flashing in your mirrors, and you have to pull over for the police. This can be a nerve-wracking situation, but you will be better off if you know what to do before this happens.

Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias has years of experience representing New Orleans DUI cases and can help you know what to do if you’re pulled over for a DUI stop.

What to do in a New Orleans DUI stop

There are several general rules of thumb when interacting with law enforcement – be polite and be sure to follow instructions. You do not want to face consequences for refusing to obey an officer’s orders. 

However, the process can be even more specific for DUI stops.

Here’s what to do in a New Orleans DUI stop:

  1. Pull over in a timely fashion
  2. Prepare your license and registration
  3. Keep your passengers under control
  4. Say as little as possible
  5. Decline a field sobriety test
  6. Decline a chemical test, if possible
  7. Ask for an attorney
  8. Contact a DUI lawyer

After the officer reviews your documents, they will likely request a field sobriety test, followed by a chemical test. Many people do not know these tests are completely voluntary, and you can decline to participate.

In fact, it is often in your best interest to decline these tests. Just like you want to say as little as possible so subjective measures of “slurred speech” can’t be used against you, you want to decline blood alcohol tests because they can be used against you. 

Field sobriety tests are difficult tests that are difficult for sober drivers to complete perfectly, and officers may even assume you are under the influence of drugs if they do not smell alcohol on you.

Chemical tests can be dangerous if you have consumed any prescription drug, whether legally or illegally. These drugs can last in your system for days after taking them, and this information can be used against you.

Possible consequences if you are charged with a DUI

The consequences for a DUI can vary, but the primary factor is whether or not you have been arrested for a DUI in the past 10 years.

For a first-time DUI charge in New Orleans, you will have to pay a fine between $300 and $1,000. You could serve a minimum jail time of 10 days or up to a maximum of 6 months. You may also have to serve up to two years’ probation, and you will be required to complete community service of at least 32 hours.

However, the consequences grow worse with each DUI arrest. While second and third DUI arrests are considered misdemeanors, you could be required to pay up to $2,000 in fines or spend up to 5 years in prison, complete more community service, and have your license suspended.

A fourth DUI arrest is considered a felony in Louisiana. Some of the worst consequences could be up to 30 years in prison, driver’s license suspension of up to four years, the installation of an ignition interlock device into your vehicle. Additionally, you’ll have to take part for 6 weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program and 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program.

Contact New Orleans DUI lawyers Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias

DUI arrests are tricky, but you can win your DUI case with the help of a determined and assertive attorney. The right attorney is experienced in these cases and understands what information can be leveraged to make the best possible case for your situation. Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias has years of experience fighting DUI cases and will fight tirelessly for you. Contact our team today to schedule your initial consultation.

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Categorized as DUI

By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile