If you’re stopped by a police officer under suspicion of driving under the influence, it’s important to remember to stay calm. Getting upset, nervous, or otherwise anxious will only make matters worse. As with any traffic stop, the officer will first ask for your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. Stay as cool, calm, and collected as possible when providing these things to the officer, even if you’ve consumed alcohol prior to driving. Here’s four more things to remember if you’re stopped under suspicion of impaired driving.
1. The Right to Remain Silent
DUI is a criminal charge, so expect an arrest to occur if an officer suspects you’re intoxicated. Invoke your fifth amendment right to remain silent, especially if you’ve had even one or two drinks since alcohol tends to make many people a bit loose-lipped. Anything you say can and will be used against you when it’s your day in court and you certainly do not want officers to have evidence piled up against you. Answer questions as you feel comfortable, but keep words to a minimal and do not provide any unnecessary conversation or details.
2. Speak to an Attorney
Many people fail to realize the seriousness of a DUI until it is far too late and they’re living with a tarnished name and inability to obtain housing and employment. Conviction of a DUI certainly has many negative consequences that can devastate your life now and well into the future. Talk to a DUI lawyer to learn exactly how they can help keep you out of hot water after being charged with this crime. You’ll gladly enjoy their expertise and skills in DUI law when they’re working for you.
3. Take the Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests include walking a straight line and touching your fingertip to your nose. Officers give these tests to determine if a person is intoxicated. They’re usually followed up with a Blood Alcohol Test if you fail the field sobriety tests and sometimes when you don’t, but an officer still suspects you’re impaired. The BAC determines if you fall under the alcohol driving limit. Refusal to take field sobriety tests or a BAC may result in automatic arrest and charges of DUI. Expect the judge hearing the case to frown when he learns your refusal. Take the tests! You may be able to find more resources and insights at the Donna V Pledge website.
4. Don’t Plead Guilty
Shortly after your arrest, you’ll be taken in front of a magistrate or a judge who will ask if you want to enter a plea and set your bond amount. Never enter a guilty plea. Talk to a DUI attorney and fight the charge every step of the way. There’s so much n the line, it’s worth the fifth.