How should I act if I’m pulled over for a DUI?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Being pulled over for DUI is often a terrifying experience, especially if you have had a few drinks. But even if you are completely sober or are certain you are still within the legal alcohol limits, you are probably still going to be anxious and worried you’re going to say or do something wrong.

Remain calm and pull over

Although you might be panicking inside, do your best to stay calm. Take deep breaths and pull over to the side of the road. Remove the keys from your ignition and place both your hands on the dashboard where the police can see them.

Cooperate with what the police tell you to do. Expect to provide your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Have them ready if possible. Always act in a respectful manner and be polite.

Do not yell or act rude or combative. Having the right attitude can go a long way in terms of the outcome. Plus, the stop is likely being recorded on audio and video. If you are arrested for DUI, you do not want your behavior to be used against you.

Do not admit to drinking anything

After providing the police with your driver’s license and registration, stay silent. Cops count on people being so nervous when they are pulled over for DUI that they start talking.

You will probably be asked how much you had to drink that day or night. You do not have to answer this question or give an explanation as to why you do not want to answer it.

You can simply say that you do not wish to answer the question or were advised to not say anything.

You do not have to perform field sobriety tests

Field sobriety tests are often used to decide if you should be arrested. These are the tests that involve things like saying the alphabet backward, walking a straight line or following a light back and forth with your eyes.

You have no legal obligation to submit to these tests. Again, cops count on you being so anxious that you agree to anything. However, your nervousness will likely cause you to fail these tests, and that is what the cops are banking on.

Handling the breath test

In addition to field sobriety tests, you could be asked to take a breath test. Under Florida law, you automatically consent to breath or blood testing in situations involving DUI when you receive your driver’s license.

You can still refuse the breath test, and the cops cannot force you to take it. Breath tests are sometimes inaccurate, and the police must follow many standards and procedures when administering them.

Unfortunately, if you do refuse a breath test, this can be used as evidence of guilt. You will also automatically lose your driving privileges.

What to do if you are arrested

Even if the cops say or do something illegal, or you take the breath test and fail, this is not the moment to fight it. The cops are in control at the DUI stop.

You have rights legal rights that must be protected. If they have violated one or more of these rights, you may be able to use that to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

If you are arrested, continue to stay silent and ask for an attorney. There are many factors involved in a DUI case, and a thorough analysis of your situation by a professional can increase your chance of a positive outcome.