DUI Arrests and Miranda Rights: What You Need to Know

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on July 10, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you're arrested for a DUI, do police have to read you your Miranda rights?

Anyone who has watched their fair share of TV police dramas probably knows the Miranda rights by heart, or at least the first part: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law..."

But you might not know is that police don't necessarily have to read you your Miranda rights upon arrest, especially if you are arrested for DUI. This does not mean, however, that police won't be able to use evidence against you (although it may determine the type of evidence they use).

Here's what you need to know about Miranda warnings and how they may apply to DUI arrests:

When Miranda Rights Must Be Read

Miranda warnings essentially serve as reminders to those in police custody that they have certain constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment, such as the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present.

However, these rights only pertain to a person who is both:

  • In police custody, and
  • Going to be questioned or interrogated about a crime.

So if you are in custody and police interrogate you without reading you your Miranda rights, then anything you say will likely be inadmissible in court, and any evidence discovered as a result the police interrogation will likewise be inadmissible.

When Miranda Rights Are Not Required

As far as DUIs are concerned, however, police often have all the evidence they need before a DUI suspect is taken into custody. That means a Miranda warning may not be required.

For example, during a traffic stop, an officer may give you a field sobriety test and a blood alcohol concentration test (such as a Breathalyzer) without having to give you a Miranda warning, as you are not in police custody. Along with the results of these tests, anything you say during them can most likely be used against you in court.

If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI following a traffic stop, officers may not need to read you your rights, and can choose not to do so at their discretion if they don't wish to interrogate you further. This will likely not affect the admissibility of any statements you made prior to your arrest.

To learn more about Miranda rights and how they may apply to your case, check out FindLaw's page on Miranda warnings and police questioning or consult an experienced DUI lawyer near you.

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