Our Alabama DUI lawyers understand that being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have a major effect on your case.
According to a recent articlein the Idaho Statesmen, a police officer was engaged in a routine traffic stop when a Ford F-150 sideswiped the police cruiser. The driver then allegedly sped away from the scene of the accident. Fortunately, the police officer was still in the vehicle during the crash and not standing between his car and the suspect’s car.
The police officer proceeded to follow the suspect and eventually pulled him over. Once the officer had pulled over the suspect, he administered the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and placed the suspect under arrest. It was alleged that the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was twice the legal limit.
After the suspect was placed under arrest, the officer went to the hospital where he was treated and released.
Being involved in a car accident during a DUI arrest may make the situation much more serious. First of all, if you leave the scene of an accident, you can also be charged with hit-and-run in addition to DUI. Alabama Code Title 32, Chapter 10 provides that leaving the scene of an automobile accident involving only property damages is a class A misdemeanor, whereas a hit-and-run that involved personal injury or death can be charged as a class C felony.
In addition to being charged for the hit-and-run, there is also the risk that someone else could be injured during a police chase. These charges may be far worse than having a DUI on your record. The reason for this is that the risk to the safety of others is the reason that DUI enforcement is such a priority in this court. A traffic stop is one of the most dangerous things that an officer will be required to do in his or her duties as a police officer. Police even refer to the area between a suspect’s car and a police cruiser as the kill zone, due the risk of being hit by another car.
If you are involved in an accident and have been drinking, it is best to stay on the scene but not answer any of the officer’s questions. This does not mean denying things, because, as your DUI lawyer will tell you, a denial can be just as a difficult to deal with as an admission of guilt during your DUI trial. It is best to simply inform the officer that you are not answering any questions or taking any tests without first speaking with your attorney.
Yet another complication may arise in a DUI case involving a car accident. It is not uncommon for police who have taken a DUI suspect to the hospital to ask doctors to have an extra blood sample taken so that it can be analyzed for the presence of drugs and alcohol, which could create additional evidence against you.