DUI Check Point

Regardless of what is happening, anytime you notice the colored lights of a police car trying to pull you over it can be a bit scary. If you have had a few drinks the fear level will increase, even if you are not drunk. Understand what to expect and how to react before pulling over. Your behavior can go far in helping you when facing a DUI charge.

Pull Over Safely

Whether you are being stopped for speeding or going through a stop sign the police officer is going to pay attention to everything you do and make note of it for future use. Make sure you drive carefully to a safe place to pull over and then do so. Remain in the vehicle, with your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to come to the window.

Wait for the Officer

You may be tempted to avoid eye contact or breathing on the officer to prevent them from noticing bloodshot eyes or the smell of alcohol on your breath. Remember, police are used to people doing this so it will alert them to the fact you are trying to hide something. Of course, you do not have to say much, just wait for them to ask for your license, registration, and insurance.

Try to remain calm while getting all the papers together for the officer. You do not need to say or do anything more than hand them the paperwork. They may ask if you know why you were pulled over and you can respond simply with “No, I do not.” Hopefully, the officer will not smell alcohol. However, they are trained to be on the lookout for signs of alcohol or drug use.

Getting Out of the Vehicle

If the officer smells alcohol, notices you slur your words, or sees you moving awkwardly they are going to ask you to step out of the vehicle. Again, you should try to remain calm and not say anything. Do your best to get out of the car without appearing drunk. This can be difficult when you are feeling the effects of alcohol but try your best without overcompensating.

The officer is probably going to ask you if you have been drinking. Remember, you have the right to respond, “I am sorry officer, I have been advised to not answer any questions until I speak with an attorney.” The important thing is to tell the truth in your response.

Field Sobriety Tests

You do not have to submit to a field sobriety test. Refusing a field sobriety test will most likely result in the officer immediately suspending your license for at least a year. However, you should also understand that other reasons — such as being tired, stressed, confused, or just having bad coordination — than alcohol or drugs can cause you to perform poorly on such tests.

Even if you are not drunk it may be a good idea to refuse the field sobriety test and have your license suspended. You will be given a 30-day permit to drive and can prove your innocence during that time. Once the proof comes out that you were not inebriated your license will be reinstated.

Breathalyzer

You also have the right to refuse to blow into the breathalyzer in the field. Of course, that will result in the suspension of your license as well. Remember that, once arrested, you cannot refuse to be tested.

Remember that the only certain way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive. For the safety of yourself and others on the road, arrange other transportation when you have been drinking.

If you do find yourself pulled over after drinking, as soon as you are allowed to make a phone call, contact someone at Law Offices OF Wells and McElwee, P.C. We will let you know how to behave until we can get there and then do all the talking for you.