Anyone in California or elsewhere who has been pulled over by police knows that such situations can be somewhat intimidating and frustrating. As difficult as it may seem, it is important for drivers to remain courteous, calm and confident during traffic stops. This is particularly true for those suspected of DUI.
Law enforcement officials are trained to look out for anything that may warrant traffic stops. This can be vehicle defects -- such as broken windows or lights -- or moving violations, regardless of how minor. Either of these things can give police sufficient cause to pull a person over, but this does not necessarily give them the right to search one's vehicle or require a driver to submit to DUI testing.
It is actually possible for drivers to refuse roadside sobriety testing. This can be both good and bad to do, though. Before taking this action, it is important to understand the risks. In California, refusing chemical testing can result in a citation, arrest and the loss of driving privileges. Refusing physical tests is a whole other matter. There are times that officers are simply looking for cause to issue an arrest, but refusing to submit to physical field sobriety testing, as well as not admitting to drinking, can give officers less to go on and may help one's case.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether one resides in California or elsewhere, it is important for a driver in the midst of a DUI traffic stop to remain courteous and confident. By showing certain levels of control in words and actions, drivers can get through these stops relatively unscathed or at least in better positions to defend themselves if criminal charges are filed. What happens during traffic stops does matter, and these incidents can be questioned in court.
Source: motorists.org, "How To Protect Your Rights During A DUI Traffic Stop", Oct. 18, 2015