What Should You Do When Pulled Over?
Posted on behalf of Donahue & Walsh, P.C. | May 24, 2022
“Choose a sober ride.”
“Limit how much you drink.”
“Walk home if you have to.”
There is no shortage of advice for how to avoid driving under the influence (DUI). Planning ahead this Memorial Day weekend can save you a giant headache in more ways than one. However, we know some of you are going to hit the road and travel to celebrate the unofficial start of summer. It is crucial to understand your rights in the event an officer attempts to pull you over.
Step 1: Pull Over
You’d be surprised how many drivers fail this first step in the process. The combination of surprise, nervousness, and inexperience can cause drivers to react on strange ways. If you see the lights and/or hear the sirens, brake, use your turn signal, and deliberately and safely pull your vehicle to the side of the road and wait for the officer to approach.
Step 2: Take a Deep Breath and Stay Calm
Now is the time to remain calm. Be polite in your interactions with law enforcement and avoid making any sudden movements. You can speak to the officer and answer questions if asked, but you are under no obligation to answer potentially incriminating questions without a lawyer present. Telling an officer that you have had a couple drinks will not help you but can definitely hurt you. Other than your identifying information, license and insurance, you are not obligated to answer further questions, participate in field sobriety tests, or complete chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine).
Step 3: Contact a Lawyer
You will not be able to talk or negotiate your own way out of a DUI charge. The best course of action is to save your talking for an experienced DUI defense attorney who can sort out your situation and protect your rights while you focus on your future.