Pull Over Safely
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.
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.