Getting pulled over for driving under the influence can be a scary and stressful experience. It is important that you know what to do and how to behave to prevent the situation from escalating.
Here are some steps you need to take to protect yourself and safeguard your rights after being arrested.
Pull over in a calm manner
Find a safe place and pull over immediately. Make sure to pull over in a normal manner and avoid driving erratically or stopping abruptly. Remember that the moment the police officer decides to pull you over, they are observing everything you do, so be careful not to take any actions that could be deemed suspicious.
Be polite and do not make any sudden movements
You must treat the police officer with respect and avoid engaging in an argument. Almost all police officers are now equipped with body cameras, and police cars have dash-mounted video cameras, so there is a high possibility that everything you do and say is being recorded. If they ask you to step out of the vehicle, comply immediately and do not give them any reason to charge you with resisting arrest.
Do not answer any incriminating questions
At this point, the officer will ask you a lot of questions but remember you are only required to give your name, driver’s license, registration details, and proof of insurance. It is natural to feel anxious and intimidated, so remember to stay calm and objective when questioned. Never admit to drinking and politely decline questions that can implicate you further. Remember that whatever you say will be used against you, so do your best to maintain a calm demeanor throughout the entire process.
Avoid making any sudden movements and refuse any sobriety tests
Police officers are trained to protect themselves at all costs, so it is crucial that you do not make any sudden or suspicious movements that could trigger a dangerous situation. They will most likely approach from behind, so remember to keep your hands on the driving wheel unless advised otherwise.
Field sobriety tests are voluntary, so politely decline when the officer asks you to take one. Police officers can ask you to step out of your vehicle, but they cannot force you to take a field sobriety test. These tests are not a reliable indicator of intoxication, and most people tend to fail them even when sober.
Remember to document everything
Take note of everything that happened during your arrest. Every detail counts, so make sure to write everything down and provide your notes to your legal counsel. Some of the important information that you can take note of include:
- What were you doing before being arrested?
- What were you wearing?
- How much did you drink?
- How long after you drank before you were pulled over?
- How did the office behave and what were the questions asked?
- What were your responses?
- Were you read your Miranda Rights?
Find a reliable and experienced attorney
To defend your rights, you must seek the assistance of a skilled and dedicated defense attorney. When arrested for DUI or for public reprimand, time is of the essence, so you must be properly represented by someone who knows the applicable laws and has your best interests at heart.
Getting arrested for DUI can be a traumatic experience especially for first-time offenders. It is vital that you stay calm and know how to properly handle and manage this stressful situation.