Every driver should understand how OUI stops should proceed and what their rights are. Many attorneys feel that it does not take very much evidence for a drunk driving arrest to occur. In Maine, a police officer's suspicion is the only real evidence that is needed for an OUI arrest to take place.
The first step in the DUI process is the traffic stop. This can be either at a checkpoint or by an officer pulling you over. If you are pulled over, it must be because you made a driving error or broke a law. Suspicion of DUI is not a valid reason for police to stop you; it must be a charge like failure to maintain lane or speeding.
After the officer writes you a ticket or gives you a warning, they may ask if you have been drinking. You should answer that you haven't and ask to leave. If you are asked to perform a field sobriety test, you should decline and again ask to leave. Many people think that this is admission to guilty, but field sobriety tests can be hard to perform even when sober and you can end up incriminating yourself.
If you are asked to take a breath test you should decline this as well unless it is a chemical test that would lead to license suspension under implied consent laws. The police officers should advise you of these rights and if they do not, an attorney could get your charges dismissed. It is important to know that if a police officer wants to charges you with DUI, there is little you can do. Even if your BAC test reads a level under the legal limit, you can still be arrested. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and avoid taking any tests other than the ones covered under implied consent.
Stricter requirements should be put in place in order to stop innocent drivers from facing OUI arrests. Field sobriety tests are designed to be very difficult and even drivers who have not had any alcohol can fail them. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be moving in the opposite direction as more and more laws are being passed that aid in the enforcement of OUI laws.