DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. It is a serious offense with several long-term consequences.
Being pulled over for a DUI can be scary and overwhelming, but knowing what to do ahead of time can be a game-changer for the person.
Below is a closer look at this issue and a list of 6 steps to follow if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are pulled over and charged with a DUI.
Follow These 6 Steps if you Pulled over for a DUI
1. Pull Over in a Safe Place
The arresting officer is very observant and makes notes regarding how the person is pulling over.
If you are arrested for DUI, those notes will become a part of the file. A person who is driving erratically and is slowing down hastily is not doing themselves a favor.
They are solidifying the officer’s suspicion that they are driving while under the influence.
2. Don’t Make Any Sudden Movements
Officers put their lives on the line every day and are cautious, alert, and will protect themselves. They tend to approach a stopped vehicle from behind so they have a clear view of everything that is going on.
When an officer stops a vehicle, the driver’s hands should be on the steering wheel in a clear view and the driver should refrain from any sudden movements.
This is more accurate in a DUI setting because most often, it is late at night and an officer’s safety is more of a concern.
3. Be Polite
Being polite is always a good rule to follow, especially when it involves a police officer.
Putting a DUI into the system is a long and complicated process, and treating an officer with politeness and respect may prevent a person from being arrested or lead to reduced charges.
It is important to note that field sobriety tests are voluntary and a driver can decline to do them, but most do so in a polite manner.
4. Don’t Answer Questions That May Incriminate You
When a person is pulled over, they are only required to identify themselves and prove that their vehicle is legally allowed to be on the road (proof of insurance).
This means the officer needs to see your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Beyond that, you are not required to have further communication with the officer.
5. Decline a Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Tests
As stated above, there are no laws requiring individuals to perform field sobriety tests or to blow into a breathalyzer.
It is a better idea to take a chemical test at the police station, and the police officer should be politely informed of that.
Each state has different rules regarding declining a breathalyzer test and could lead to a temporary suspension of your license.
However, when faced with the possibility of DUI charges, a temporary suspension seems like a better deal.
6. Write Down Notes
Write things down because the more time that passes the more details a person will forget. Any detail will help form a defense in court. Start with any details leading up to what you were doing before getting into your car and anything else after that.
Getting pulled over for a DUI is scary, but knowing what to do can help a person tremendously. And, knowing your legal rights are also important. To learn more, consult an attorney for information regarding various aspects of your state’s laws.