Getting pulled over by law enforcement can be stressful no matter what the reason. One way to ease this situation is to be prepared for it before you are faced with it. When you are properly prepared, you can think clearly about what needs to be done and any angst or stress about what may happen can be suppressed with knowledge.
For many people, flashing red lights appearing in their rear-view mirror will make common sense vanish, only to be replaced with a defensive mentality. Since this sort of approach can make the circumstances you are in worse, here are helpful strategies on what you should do if pulled over by the police, especially if it is for suspicion of DUI.
Make a good first impression
Begin by finding a safe place to pull over. Turn down your radio and turn on an overhead light if it is dark. Have your driver’s license and insurance ready. When the officer approaches have your hands on the wheel and your window at least half-way or more down. Do not speak first and do not make any sudden movements such as twisting in your seat to grab a wallet or purse.
Interacting with the officer
First and foremost, you should be polite and respectful to the officer. If you immediately come off as rude, insincere or hostile, the officer will likely impose a stronger suspicion of you because of your actions and may press harder for you to incriminate yourself for something.
Watch what you say
A lot of the reason officers want you to be talking during a pull-over is so that you can incriminate yourself in some way. The classic example is the question regarding if you have been drinking. You can simply answer “no” or you can reply you are not answering any questions. You should not lie, that can only make things worse. The only thing you are required to do is provide your name, license, registration and insurance information.
You can refuse a field sobriety test and hand-held breathalyzer test
One way an officer will try to collect evidence that you may be under the influence is to perform a field sobriety test. This usually entails activities such as walking a straight line or reciting the alphabet backwards. However, you are under no legal obligation to take part in this test which is also the same for a breathalyzer test. However, refusing a breathalyzer test carries a penalty of license suspension for up to 90 days for refusal. If you are asked to take a chemical test via blood or urine, the law obligates you to submit to this type of test.
If you are arrested for suspicion of DUI, try to write down everything you can remember about your interactions with the officer and everything you did. You should also contact an attorney who can review the circumstances of your arrest and prepare the best defense. An attorney can also assist you with the many aspects that are involved in a DUI case and help you choose the right course of action.