DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol is a widespread issue. According to multiple sources, drunk driving is estimated to cause 28% of auto fatalities in the US. These startling statistics often result in overzealous cops and law enforcement officers being extra watchful for potential suspects.
While it's not wise to drink and drive or attempt to get away with such behavior, some lawful citizens are falsely accused. For that reason, read through these tips concerning how to respond if ever pulled over for a DUI to minimize legal repercussions and minimize damage to your reputation whether guilty or innocent.
Step #1: Pull Over, Remain Calm, and Be Polite
Being pulled over even stone-cold sober can be alarming, so staying calm is pivotal in the situation. Put on a blinker, pull over, and try to park in a privately owned lot instead of the side of the road. In many states, your auto cannot be towed and impounded without a warrant once it's in a private lot. Always be respectful and avoid combative behavior or resistance towards the officer. Remember, everything you say and do is likely being recorded.
Step 2: Don't Answer Any Questions Before Consulting a DUI Attorney
Even if you've only had one drink and aren't inebriated, never admit to drinking. Your duties are to provide a driver's license and proof of insurance and registration — no more, no less. It's in the driver's best interest to take advantage of their right to remain silent whether under arrest or not. Rest assured, anything you say now or even in the officer's cruiser after an arrest is being video and audio recorded and will be held against you in a court of law.
Step 3: Do Not Be Compliant with Field Sobriety Tests
When police suspect you of driving while intoxicated, they'll often ask you to take a field sobriety test. Unless you are under arrest, you don't have to comply with this request. However, if you are put into custody, they can compel you to take a breathalyzer or blood test. Refusal to do so onsite could result in a suspended license and other penalties. Always refuse these tests without seeing an official warrant issued for your arrest.
The Bottom Line…Call a DUI Law Firm
In addition to taking these steps, the next thing you should do if you find yourself charged with an offensive related to drunk driving is to contact a DUI attorney. They can help you beat your case or lessen any repercussions should you be found guilty in addition to helping you preserve your reputation.