West Virginia residents may not feel that they have any rights when pulled over by police officers. Thankfully, this is not true. Everyone has rights during such situations. Unfortunately, during times of stress, such as during traffic stops, it is easy for drivers to lose their cool, which can lead to a whole lot of trouble. This is most certainly true for those who are suspected of DUI.
Driving while impaired is not something that is taken lightly by authorities or the court. Anyone who is suspected of driving under the influence will be placed under a microscope as police look for any possible signs of such activity. Unfortunately, this does not require some major moving violation or other big event as officers will look for the smallest of things in order to initiate traffic stops. Is this right? Maybe not, but they are doing their jobs and trying to keep the streets safe for everyone.
After being pulled over, what can one do to protect him or herself? There are actually a few things; the first would be to remain calm and in control. Secondly, be courteous when answering an officer's questions, but do not feel the need to over-share or admit to drinking. Finally, it is okay to refuse both physical and chemical sobriety testing, though refusing chemical tests may have consequences.
Many DUI traffic stops occur for reasons other than suspected impairment. And individual's actions after being pulled over can have a significant impact as to whether he or she will face criminal charges or be allowed to continue on his or her way. Those in West Virginia who are charged with drunk driving have every right to question the events of traffic stops and, in doing so, may find an error in the procedure or other issues that will be of benefit to their cases in court.
Source: motorists.org, "How To Protect Your Rights During A DUI Traffic Stop", Accessed on Oct. 18, 2015