Attorney David Chesley's Criminal Defense Blog

What to do When You are Pulled Over for a DUI

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Drinking and driving is a very serious offense that can lead to serious injuries and may even lead to death. You should never drive under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substance. The information below is a guideline on what to do if you are pulled over for a DUI, and your rights during this interaction with a police officer.

If you are pulled over:

  • Give the police officer your driver’s license, car registration and insurance when he requests it. Having this ready at the time the officer comes to your window will show the officer that you are ready to comply with him.
  • Once the officer returns your driver’s license, ask him if you are free to leave. It is important to remember every interaction you have with the police officer, and if possible to record it.
  • If the police officer continues to question you, do not answer any question beyond identifying yourself. Usually speaking with a police officer will only have negative consequences if your case ends up in court.
  • Decline any field sobriety tests. This includes test such as the one-leg stand and the walk and turn.
  • If the officer requests a Breathalyzer test, decline it. After you decline it the officer will inform you that you must either blow into the Breathalyzer, take a blood test or a urine test and that declining all three will lead to your license being suspended for a year.
  • At this point you should comply with a test. If you do not, not only will your license be suspended, but they will get a warrant to take a blood test anyway.

It is important to know your rights, declining field sobriety tests lessens the amount of evidence against you. Remaining silent is also important, remember anything you say or do will be used against you.

Whenever interacting with a police officer always be polite and respectful. Getting on a police officer’s bad side will only make the process of an arrest much more difficult than it needs to be.

If you are arrested for a DUI, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. DUI convictions can consume large amount of time and money. An attorney will help you handle it in the most efficient way. Remember to explain everything you think might be relevant to your attorney, it is your attorney’s job to decide what applies to your case.

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