Police officers are trained to spot drivers who may be under the influence of alcohol. While they’re not always correct about their suspicions, if an officer has reason to believe you’re drunk, they’re likely to pull you over to learn more.
There are a variety of signs that give an officer reason to believe you’re under the influence of alcohol. For example, drifting out of your lane of travel is a common sign of intoxication.
If you find yourself pulled over, here are five steps to take:
- Stay in your vehicle: Getting out of your vehicle is a mistake, as the officer may assume you’re a threat to them. It’s best to pull over immediately and stay in your vehicle. The officer will tell you what to do next. All you have to do is take directions.
- Be courteous: Talking back, disobeying orders and/or cursing at the officer will only make things worse. Even if you’re 100 percent sober, poor behavior can lead to another type of criminal charge. It’s best to remain polite at all times, no matter what happens.
- You don’t have to incriminate yourself: Thanks to the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, you have the right to remain silent during a traffic stop. It’s usually wise to invoke it.
- Telling the truth probably won’t do you any good: Maybe you think it’s best to tell the officer you only had one drink. Being candid probably won’t do you any good, as most officers already have an idea of whether they plan to further detain you.
- Remain calm: If you’re arrested for driving under the influence, there’s no point in resisting. It can result in additional criminal charges against you. Let the officer know that you won’t be answering any questions until you first speak with your attorney.
The best way to prevent a DUI arrest is to avoid drinking and driving. But even if you understand the risks, you could still make this mistake.
Once you’re processed and released, review the details of your arrest and turn your immediate attention toward the future. Now’s the time to start preparing for the court system, such as by settling on a DUI defense strategy that can help you avoid a conviction.