Too many lose their lives every year because of a drunk driver. As a result, police officers are intensifying their campaign to arrest and convict drivers they suspect are under the influence. Though commendable, police officers occasionally pull over innocent drivers and charge them by mistake.
If a police officer stops you on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), keep the following in mind:
Pay attention to what’s happening
Police officers can pull a car over if they suspect the driver is committing or has committed a crime. If they have probable cause that you are drunk driving, they could arrest you.
If it appears like the police are about to arrest you, observe how they detain you. Police officers still need to abide by certain rules when making an arrest. Your lawyer could use your observations to determine if the officer violated any rules.
Stay respectful and polite
Wait for the police officer to approach your car without making any sudden moves. Stay inside the car unless they ask you to come out.
It’s natural to be frustrated by the situation but remember to stay calm and be polite when interacting with a police officer. Acting up or hurling offensive comments at them can only worsen your situation.
Decide to take or refuse a field sobriety test
The police officer will ask you to take a field sobriety test to determine your intoxication. You have the right to refuse the test. However, it may not stop the police officer from detaining you.
Avoid saying too much
Be careful with what you say. Give your name, address, and birthdate, but anything apart from that, you don’t have to answer.
Invoking your right to remain silent can stop you from incriminating yourself. Politely decline to answer if the police officer presses you to talk about where you came from and if you had anything to drink.
Trying to talk your way out of the situation is not advisable. They could use what you say against you.
Call a lawyer
If possible, call before the officer approaches your car. Otherwise, you may have to wait for another window.
Before refusing or agreeing to a sobriety test, ask the officer respectfully if you may talk with an attorney first. However, suspects can usually only talk to an attorney when they are already in custody.
Knowing your rights ahead of time can help you know what to do if an officer pulls you over. Doing anything to provoke the police might cost you your license and lead to more penalties.