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Police Terminology

An arrest can be scary and confusing, especially if you are not feeling like yourself due to the lingering effects of drugs or alcohol. Getting arrested for driving under the influence is a traumatic time, and can feel like it has changed your life forever. There is much to say or not say, to avoid or complete, people to speak to, and some to keep very quiet around until you have spoken to a professional DUI attorney. Most confusing of all can be the terminology that the police officers use around you during this period.

It is always better to have even a rudimentary understanding of what the police are discussing. Here is a brief explanation of some terms that you may be familiar with, and a few that you may not recognize:

Refusal to submit: Some states have very strict laws regarding your right to refuse blood alcohol concentration testing. Refusing to submit can lead to increased or additional penalties, depending on what state you are arrested in.

Probable cause: This is a phrase that refers to why you were arrested in the first place, such as failing a sobriety test. The officer needs probable cause, in some form, to arrest you, or the arrest is not legal.

Miranda rights: Most of us have heard this term, due to television shows like Law and Order. If even one of these rights is violated, then the arrest may not be legal and/or evidence may be suppressed in court.

Blood alcohol concentration: Commonly referred to as BAC, this is the amount of alcohol that is present in your blood. It can be measured by a breathalyzer test, urinalysis, or blood draw.

Booking: This word refers to the timeframe between exiting the police car and entering your cell. It includes getting a mugshot picture taken, being fingerprinted, that famous phone call, questioning (unless you choose to remain silent), determining BAC, and more, depending on each case.

To learn more about police terminology, and what to do during each phase of your DUI case, speak to a professional DUI attorney in your state and begin building a more successful defense.

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