Understanding Your Rights During a DUI Stop.
This is part seven of my series, Traffic Stops in Muskogee Creek Nation. My name is Ted Hasse, I’m an attorney practicing law in eastern Oklahoma in federal and tribal courts. We’re going to focus on Muskogee Creek Nation, but this applies certainly to Cherokee Nation too, and some of this will be helpful for non-Native American folks, and then folks who are in the car of someone who’s defined as an Indian under federal law, but they themselves are not Native American.
So I took a brief detour there talking about, you know, canine cops, canine searches, and a search that looks like that. You know, I hope it goes without saying that, you know, along with you not answering any questions of police officers, simply complying with the lawful orders, which are, you know, license registration, proof of insurance, and if they ask you to step out of a vehicle, you need to step out of a vehicle.
I got an earlier video on that, and you can get more information on that. You comply with lawful orders, I recommend you be polite, but you assert and invoke your right not to answer any questions because they’re interrogating you, and they’re seeking to build a case against you.
What to Do When a Traffic Stop Turns into a DUI Stop
Let’s talk in this video briefly about, you know, when one of these stops turns into a DUI stop. It could have started with, you know, officer’s going to claim that you were swerving or something. Maybe they have some suspicion early on. If they’re pulling you over, you know, from 11 to 2 a.m. or even later, they probably have it in their mind that there’s a high likelihood that you are, you know, either intoxicated on alcohol or, you know, high off some narcotic or both. And so, you know, they’re going to be looking for that sort of thing.
Here’s, you know, okay, so let me just step back and say, you know, I hope it goes without saying you will not consent to a search of your vehicle. You will not stick around to wait for a canine cop. You don’t have to do any of those things. You know, if at any point you’re not, if you’re confused about where you’re at with the stop, which is, you know, it’s easy to get in that situation because they’re trying to confuse you. They try and sort of bluff sometimes and pretend like they have the right to get, you know, ID off of all your passengers and stuff like that. Anytime you’re confused, just say, officer, am I being detained? Or say, you know, officer, am I free to go?
Your Rights in a DUI Stop
Now in a DUI stop, something you need to understand is that once they asked you to exit the vehicle and they’ve asked you to participate in a field sobriety test, at that point, things have already gone wrong. You know, I can’t remember ever, you know, hearing about or watching a video where somebody does a field sobriety test on the side of the road with police officers and they complete it and the officer says, Hey, way to go. You did great. High five. That’s not what’s going to happen. They’re just building a case against you in order to arrest you for DUI.
Now, you know, just as an aside, I have heard people sort of talk themselves out at that point, but that is, you know, way advanced maneuver. I would absolutely plan to just keep my mouth shut. And certainly, you know, it’s undignified to be, you know, standing on one foot by the side of the road, heel to toe, you know, doing stupid tricks for a cop while everybody passes by. So you’re not required. They’re not going to tell you that you’re not required to do that, but you need to understand your rights. You don’t have to participate in any of that.
The other thing that they might ask you to do is to do a breathalyzer, one of their sort of field breathalyzers. You know, if, if you haven’t had anything to drink whatsoever, leave it up to you. If you want to do that, that might be a situation where the officer could go from, you know, I’m going to arrest to, you know, if you blow nothing on that, maybe they don’t want to look like an idiot and get you back to the station and have you do a proper breathalyzer or blood draw and find that you have nothing. Maybe if you’ve had, you know, nothing to drink or it’s been, you know, six hours, you know, maybe, maybe you want to blow on one of those field breathalyzers. They’re not super accurate. You know, there, there’s some problems and they need to be properly calibrated, but you know, understand those are voluntary as well.
Your Rights After Being Arrested in a DUI Stop
Now here’s what’s important to understand is, you know, if, if you refuse to, to, to do their super tricks, they’re probably arresting you, but hey, they’re probably arresting you at this point anyway, right? Once you are placed under arrest you know, being brought back to the station at that point you know, you, you will potentially, if you refuse to use a breathalyzer, you know, that could potentially be used against you as evidence later on and then could impact your rights with regard to your driver’s license, driver’s license, and your relationship with department of public safety is beyond the scope of these videos. So I’m not going to go very far into that. You know, just understand that your, your legal rights with regard to a breathalyzer after you’re arrested is different than what’s happening at the scene. Understand we’re just talking about your rights right now at the scene of a stop.
Get Expert Counsel for Your Criminal Charges in Muscogee Creek Nation
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Muskogee Creek Nation or a Cherokee nation or any other tribal court, you’re going to want expert counsel, expert criminal defense specialized in this area that does this exclusively. And you’re going to want somebody who’s an expert in tribal law. That’s me. You’re going to want to give me a call. I’ll be happy to talk to you. Call us at (918) 947-6552. Again, my name is Ted Hasse, H-A-S-S-E.