It's never fun to be pulled over, but especially not during the holiday season. Unfortunately, many Americans are unsure what to do in a situation where they're pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Not knowing what to do or say could mean doing and saying the wrong thing.
When a police officer says you have the right to remain silent, sometimes silence really is the best option. Consider the following things to do, and not do, should you be pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
- Pull over
When a police officer turns on their lights behind your vehicle, you should pull over properly to the side of the road. Be sure to turn on your signal so the officer knows you intend to pull over.
- Remain in the vehicle
After you've pulled over, turn off your vehicle and remain in the car. Turn on the interior light of the car if it's after dark. You should only exit the vehicle if the officer asks you to.
- Don't behave suspiciously
Many people are nervous when a police officer pulls them over. However, try to prevent your nerves from making you act suspiciously. Leaning forward or across the seat may give the officer the impression you're hiding something. Keep your hands on the steering wheel in plain sight and relax.
- Listen to the officer
One of the best ways to prevent an arrest is to listen and follow the instructions the police officer gives you (calling the officer "Sir" or "Ma'am" doesn't hurt, either!). Up to 12,196,959 arrests were made in 2012 alone, and drunk driving is one of the most common charges. Failing to listen to instructions could cause you to be arrested.
- Don't provide unnecessary information
Answer the police officer's questions without giving any additional information. Any details or arguments you need to share should be shared with a DUI attorney, not the police officer.
- Be careful of what you say
Should the officer ask you how much you've had to drink, never answer the question with an incriminating response. Choose to remain silent or say you don't remember. Any number you provide could come back to you in court.
- Don't consent unless it's implied
Ask the police officer if the DUI test you're being asked to take is voluntary. Implied consent laws require you to submit to BAC testing. However, other tests may be voluntary. Don't volunteer to take these tests.
If you've been arrested or accused of DUI, it may be in your best interest to seek legal assistance from a DUI attorney. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in or around Harrisonburg, VA, then contact the law offices of John Elledge today for a legal aid consultation with an experienced DUI attorney.