While officers pull drivers over for DUI suspicion all the time, when it happens to you, it can be a scary and stressful situation. If you are convicted of this offense, it can result in severe consequences, both legally and personally. As such, if you find yourself pulled over for suspicion of DUI, it’s crucial to handle the situation wisely to minimize potential harm.
Avoiding common mistakes can make a significant difference in your case. Here are some pitfalls to steer clear of.
One of the most common mistakes people make when pulled over for DUI is admitting guilt immediately. It’s important to remember that you have the right to remain silent. You don’t have to answer potentially incriminating questions. Politely decline to answer questions about whether you’ve been drinking and request to speak to an attorney.
Failing field sobriety tests
Examples include the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are designed to assess your coordination and balance. Many factors, including nerves or medical conditions, can affect your performance. Politely decline to take these tests if you believe they could work against you. They are voluntary in most jurisdictions.
Refusing breathalyzer tests
The officer who stops you may request that you submit to a breathalyzer test. You have the right to say no. However, you may lose your driving privileges if you refuse post-arrest. Refusing a test may also be used against you in court. It’s often advisable to take the test and consult an attorney afterward.
Not documenting the stop
If you believe your rights were violated during the stop, make sure to document the details. Note the time, location and the officer’s actions. If there are any witnesses, try to obtain their contact information. This documentation can be invaluable when challenging the charges.
Being pulled over for DUI is a stressful situation, but avoiding these common mistakes can help protect your rights and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Always remember that you have the right to remain silent and seek legal counsel.