Until you’ve been there, it’s easy to assume that people who get caught driving while intoxicated are criminals and low lifes. Indeed, some people who are convicted of driving while intoxicated are repeat offenders who should never be behind the wheel to begin with. However, many people who are pulled over for driving while intoxicated are moms and dads, and working professionals, who just underestimated their limit when they started their car.
If you are a (mostly) upstanding and law-abiding citizen who has been pulled over for driving while intoxicated, the decisions you make while interacting with the cops will play a huge impact on the outcome of your charges. Before you ever take a drink, you should know what to do if you were ever pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving:
What Your DUI Lawyer Wishes You Knew Before You Got Pulled Over
- Practice the guaranteed way to avoid a DUI offenses.
Although we understand that sometimes good people use poor judgement, we want to make one thing clear. We do not condone drunk driving. The best way to never be charged with a DUI is to not get behind the wheel when intoxicated at all. If you drink, call a taxi. Call an Uber. Call a stretch limousine; even that is cheaper than the cost of being convicted of driving while intoxicated. If you never get behind the wheel after drinking, you’ll never have to worry about being charged with a DUI.
So what is the point of this article then? Let’s say you skip over this point and now you see the red and blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. We want you to know your constitutional right if this happened. So keep reading.
- Exercise your right to remain silent.
The first thing you’ll hear if you are arrested is that you have the right to remain silent. Use that from the moment you are pulled over, and hopefully you can avoid any arrest at all.
From the moment you are pulled over, every interaction you have with cop is used to build evidence and determine your guilt. The less you offer, the less the cop has to use against you. The only information you have to provide is your license, insurance, and registration. Don’t offer anything beyond that. When the officer asks if you know why you were stopped, simply answer no. You don’t have to tell them where you’re coming from or where you’re going. You do not have to answer whether you’ve had anything to drink. In fact even if you say, “I just had one or two drinks…” you’ve just testified against yourself, and did the cop’s job for him. Answer a polite but firm, “I don’t have any answers for you.”
You should always remain respectful, and that might be difficult while not answering any questions. But the less you say, the better you’ll fair. Not to mention, if you have had a sip or two too many, the more you talk, the more likely the cop will smell alcohol on your breath or recognize your slurred or slow speech.
- Never perform a field sobriety test.
The cop might tell you to walk a straight line or to stand on one foot or to recite the alphabet backwards. Although they probably aren’t asking you, the truth is, they do not have the authority to force you to comply with these tests. They are subjective and do not give the officer any concrete information that would give them grounds to arrest you. In fact, almost always, if you are being asked to perform a field sobriety test, you’re already going to be arrested.
So why do cops even perform these tests if they’ve already decided to arrest you? For one purpose: to help build a case against you. A cop needs to have probably cause to arrest you. While their “gut instinct” that you’re driving under the influence doesn’t hold a lot of weight, by performing these tests, they get ample evidence against you.
Bonus: You don’t even have to use the field breathalyzer. They are notoriously inaccurate, are unadmissible in court, but give cops the “probable cause” they need to arrest you.
Do you have any other tips? Share below!