When stopped for a DUI, whether you believe you are guilty of driving above the legal limit or not, it is important to remain calm and cooperate with the law enforcement officer who stopped you. The following are 10 important things to keep in mind if you are pulled over for a DUI.
1. Pull over properly.
Slow down and pull your car over to the right side of the road, when it is safe to do so. Using your turn signal will help notify the officer of your intentions.
2. Remain in your vehicle.
Turn your vehicle off and remain inside the car with your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark outside, you should turn the vehicle’s interior lights on. Do not get out of your vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
3. Don’t act suspicious.
Avoid any behaviors that might make it seem as if you are trying to hide or dispose of something. Fidgeting in your seat, leaning to one direction or another, or any other uncharacteristic body language may lead the officer to ask you to step out of your vehicle for a pat down, and possibly to search your vehicle.
4. Follow directions.
Listen to what the officer tells you and cooperate with him or her. You cannot drive away until the officer gives you permission to do so.
5. Be mindful of what you say.
Simply answer the officer’s questions, without offering extra information, arguing, or using an offensive tone of voice. Advise your passengers to do the same.
6. Act normal.
Remember that you are being observed by the officer, his or her partner if they have one, and potentially video equipment on their vehicle. Any strange behavior might signal the officer that further action should be taken.
7. Answer “How much did you drink?” carefully.
It is routine for officers to ask how much someone has had to drink when pulled over for a suspected DUI charge. It is best to either remain silent or assert that you cannot remember the exact amount you had to drink before getting behind the wheel. “Underestimations” about the amount you’ve had to drink can be used against you in court, so it is best to avoid giving an amount all together.
8. Think carefully about BAC testing.
Implied consent means that by acquiring a driver’s license, you consent to taking a BAC test. Refusing to take the test may result in worse consequences, but if you are seriously intoxicated, refusal might be in your best interest. In Florida, refusing to take a BAC test for your first DUI offense results in a one year license suspension; refusing to take the test for your second and third offenses results in an 18-month license suspension.
9. Don’t do any tests that aren’t mandatory.
Officers may ask you to “walk the line” or stand on one leg. Before complying with such requests, ask if the DUI test is mandatory.
10. When in doubt…
If you have any doubt that the person who pulled you over is a police officer, politely ask to speak with a supervisor for clarification, or tell the officer you’d like to follow them to the police station.
A DUI defense attorney, like the trusted professional traffic lawyers at Blick Law Firm, will ensure your rights are protected, guide you through the court proceedings, and help you obtain a favorable outcome for your case. If charged with a DUI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. Call Blick Law Firm today at 888-973-2776 to set up a free consultation! For more information, [click here]