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Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Delaware

Can I be stopped and arrested for DWI even if the vehicle was not moving?

Yes, a person can be stopped and arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated because states use the terms interchangeable. Specifically, Delaware states that a person can be convicted of operating a vehicle without a vehicle ever being in motion. The ability to convict a person in a stopped vehicle rests on the facts that a person had the ability to operate, move, or park the vehicle. Further, the courts find that behavior consistent with specific facts sufficient for a conviction of driving under the influence.

Do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I give a sample?

Yes, individuals have the right to talk to an attorney before giving a sample. However, courts may cite the lack of immediate response as a refusal. Also, officers do not have to tell individuals they have a right to talk to an attorney. Yet, the individual may request to talk to attorney and will be permitted to do so.

Do I have to give a blood or urine sample?

No, individuals do not have to give a blood or urine sample. However, the creation of implied consent laws allows officers to arrest individuals once they refuse to give a sample. Additionally, individuals can be convicted of driving under the influence with a refusal. The attorneys involved and the facts present may provide sufficient evidence without an actual sample. Thus, refusal will result in consequences.

Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test?

No, individuals do not have to submit to a field sobriety test. However, Delaware allows officers to take individuals for blood testing after refusing a field sobriety test. Additionally, officers can arrest individuals for refusal as well as possess sufficient evidence to convict individuals of driving under the influence without any test results.

When a person can be arrested for DUI

Delaware State Law allows a police officer to arrest an individual for driving under the influence (DUI).  Additionally, Delaware Law indicates that officers do not have to have a warrant for an arrest for DUI. However, officers must have probable cause to arrest a person for a DUI offense. After an officer can establish probable cause the officer must follow specific procedures to administer field sobriety and chemical testing. Once the officer decides to administer a test for measuring a person’s BAC or presence of drugs, a person has the ability to refuse. However, Delaware instituted implied consent laws that obtain consent to submit to a testing through use of Delaware roads. An individual can be arrested immediately upon refusal as well as when an individual fails a field sobriety or BAC tests. Finally, a person can be arrested within four hours of driving a vehicle after driving while under the influence.

Police officers are given authority to arrest individuals for various offenses and crimes. Typically, police officers are required to have probable cause before testing an individual for driving under the influence. Once the officer acquires probable cause and asks to administer a test for driving under the influence an individual may be arrested. Specifically, individuals refusing to submit to testing for driving under the influence will be arrested immediately.

Individual’s refusal to testing for driving under the influence results in an arrest due to Delaware’s implied consent laws. The State of Delaware requires individual consent to chemical testing once he or she uses the roads in Delaware. Therefore, refusal to submit to testing for driving under the influence automatically results in a violation of law. The individual will receive penalties for refusal to submit to testing.

Police officers arrest individuals for driving under the influence after they fail a field sobriety or blood alcohol concentration test. Typically, officers administer two or three tests to verify that an individual is under the influence. Once the officer receives verification that the individual is under the influence he or she is arrested. The individual is placed in police custody. Specifically, failure of chemical testing results in immediate arrest but will allow an individual an opportunity to refute the arrest. Additionally, Delaware allows police officers to arrest individuals after they cease driving.

Specifically, Delaware Law allows police officers to arrest and detain individuals up to four hours after they cease driving. Thus, individuals may be arrested for a DUI without physically being behind the steering wheel of vehicle. Delaware Law provides a broad category to encompass individuals driving under the influence but not stop on the road by police officers. Typically, arresting individuals after they cease driving may only occur within four hours. Also, Delaware Law provides stipulations that exclude individuals who cease driving and begin to drink. However, the courts will uphold most instances where police officers will arrest individuals after they cease driving.

Additionally, expanding police authority to arrest individuals after they have driven a vehicle does not allow individuals to claim ex post facto or after the fact. Basically, the courts as well as Delaware Law identify the danger and severity of driving under the influence. Thus, Delaware Law has identified a period of four hours after driving to hold individuals accountable. However, once the period of four hours lapses an individual may not be arrested for a DUI offense.

Therefore, a person can be arrested for driving under the influence once he or she refused testing for driving under the influence. Also, any individuals that fail a test for driving under the influence will be arrested. Finally, an individual can be arrested for driving under the influence within four hours he or she stopped driving.


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