Arrests in a DUI Case
DUI cases almost never require a warrant, except in the few cases where the officer is not present when the act of driving under the influence occurred. An example might be a serious auto accident in a rural area delaying the presence of a police officer, with no witnesses and an unconscious driver. Immediate medical intervention is required. Driver air-lifted to nearest available hospital. The officer is left with little information except what can be gleaned from the accident site and the vehicle.
Most DUI's occur because the officer observes some sort of traffic offense, many as minor as a tag-light not operating. Any such offense will give the officer the required “Probable cause to “stop” the vehicle. The officer may initially intend to warn or cite the driver for that particular offense. However, in speaking and observing the driver the officer may detect an odor of alcohol or some other intoxicating substance, or simply observes behaviors that seem unusual, the officer will ask the driver to step out of the car, “so as to better observe him or her.”
Commonly at this point the officer will ask if the driver has been drinking. If the answer is “yes”, then the officer has an admission in addition to the previous observations. If the answer is “No” there may or may not be a follow-up question such as “I smell alcohol or Marijuana are you sure about that?” If the follow-up answer is “Well yes, I had two beers”, now the officer has evidence in the form of his observations, a confession and a lie. Either way, what is next is a request by the officer for the driver to do some “field sobriety exercises” just to make sure the driver is ok to continue driving. After thousands of cases, I've NEVER seen anyone pass these tests. (That is the way they are designed.)
Next, the officer will likely ask for a breath sample on a little portable breath alcohol test device. ( Portable MJ tests on the near horizon) The officer will not tell you or show you what the results are. Regardless, you will now be told that you are under arrest for DUI, placed in cuffs and frisked for the “officers' safety.” Be careful what's in your pockets!
Notice now that you have not been read any ‘Miranda Warning like you see on TV and might have heard about. Not required, because everything you said was before you were arrested and just conversation!
The officer will now pull out a little card and tell you to listen-up because he has to read you something. It will be read so fast that you will not understand it but the law doesn't care. You have just received your “Implied Consent Warning” it will be covered in the next step.