Driving under the influence of alcohol is a mistake that puts you, as well as others on the road, at risk of serious injury or even death.
Despite the fact that drinking and driving is illegal, it’s easy to make this mistake. If you find yourself pulled over for suspicion of DUI, there are several steps you should take:
- Stay in your vehicle: Once you see police lights in your rearview mirror, put on your hazard lights, move to the side of the road and stay in your vehicle. Getting out will give the officer reason to believe that you’re up to something.
- Remain polite: This alone won’t allow you to escape an arrest, but it can’t hurt. Not to mention the fact that remaining polite and respectful helps prevent additional criminal charges.
- Think before you speak: Your first thought is to say anything you can to defend yourself. However, there are times when you’re better off invoking your 5th Amendment rights. Anything you say during the traffic stop and arrest can be used against you in the court of law.
- Don’t make up a story: “I only had one drink five hours ago.” “I am on my way to church, not the bar.” A story that’s obviously false will only anger the office and make it look like you’re trying to hide something. Stick to the facts, while avoiding saying anything that will incriminate you.
- Don’t resist arrest: If you’re put under arrest, resisting won’t do you any good. The officer won’t change their mind just because you’re fighting back. Rather than resist, cooperate during the arrest and during your time at the police station.
It’s your hope that the officer will give you a warning and let you go on your way. If this doesn’t happen and you’re put under arrest, turn your attention to the next steps in the process.
Just because you’re arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol doesn’t mean a conviction is next. There are defense strategies you can use to avoid a conviction and the many punishments often associated with it.
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