When an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, the steps you take will impact what comes next. With the right approach, you improve the likelihood of driving away from the scene as opposed to being transported to a local station in the back of a police car.
Here are four mistakes you should avoid during a DUI traffic stop:
- Getting out of your vehicle: Whatever you do, don’t get out of your vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so. If you get out before the officer approaches your vehicle, they may assume their safety is at risk.
- Talking too much: Let the officer guide the conversation, and think carefully about the information you share and the questions you answer. You have the legal right to remain silent. Anything you say beyond your name and address is likely to get you in trouble.
- Arguing about your legal rights: It’s never a good idea to insult the officer, and that’s exactly what you’ll do if you begin to loudly explain your legal rights and how you plan on protecting them. It’s good that you understand your legal rights, but that doesn’t mean you should argue about them with the officer. Simply request to contact your lawyer instead.
- Resisting arrest: Should the officer put you under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol, don’t fight back. It’s a no-win situation, so you might as well go along with what’s asked of you. Instead of resisting, take this time to pay close attention to what the officer is saying and how you’re treated. You may recognize something you can use to defend yourself when your day in court arrives.
The challenge with avoiding these mistakes during a DUI traffic stop is that you have a lot going through your mind. You may be so concerned about your well-being and avoiding an arrest that you speak out of turn or do something that you come to regret.
The best way to protect against a mistake is to calm down, take a deep breath and think twice before you say or do anything. This approach will allow you to protect your legal rights in the most effective way.