As the holiday season approaches, police will be increasing their efforts on the road to catch drunk drivers. In any encounter with the police, it is important to remember your rights and to stay calm. Below our blog covers what you should do if you are suspected of driving while under the influence (DUI).
If you see the flashing red and blue lights of a police car in your rearview mirror, find a safe place to pull over and shut the vehicle off. Roll down your driver’s side window and place your hands on the steering wheel as you wait for the officer to approach. Police are looking for a reason to provide more evidence you were driving drunk from the moment they decide to pull you over. Refrain from immediately pulling over the second you see their lights in your review mirror too, because police might view this a symptom of driving while intoxicated.
Limit what you say
The police may be looking for any information, which they may use against you. Beyond requests for basic identifying and insurance information, you do not have to answer probing questions asked by the police. By limiting what you say, you greatly reduce the risk of self-incrimination. If the officer questions you about your activities, you can state that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Do not consent to a search
If an officer has any suspicions about your activities, he or she may ask to perform a search of your vehicle. While it may feel uncomfortable or wrong to deny this request, you are well within your rights to do so. In order to perform a search of you or your vehicle, law enforcement must have a warrant, probable cause, or your consent.
Field sobriety tests are voluntary
The one leg stand, walk and turn, and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests are commonly used by the police in an attempt to gauge driver intoxication. Many drivers misunderstand the purpose of these tests. Sobriety tests are designed to provide police with an opportunity to gather evidence, which may be used against you. They are not meant to give drivers a chance to prove their innocence. Like the request to conduct a search, these tests are completely voluntary, and you are not required to participate.
While you do not have to participate in sobriety tests or consent to a search, it is important to remain courteous in your encounters with the police. An officer will be looking for suspicious activity and by staying calm; you can demonstrate that you have nothing to hide. Additionally, being polite will make it difficult for law enforcement to interpret your behavior as hostile or resistant.
Facing Charges for DUI? Contact Our Firm Today
If you have been accused of DUI, you have the right to an attorney and you should not take any action without first contacting the legal team at Brooks-Stevens, PC. Law enforcement may have you believe that you do not stand a chance in your case, however, with the proper defense, police evidence may not always hold up in court. Did the arresting officer have probable cause? Was a mistake made during your arrest? Our Muncie DWI attorneys have been defending the accused since 1984 and can work to maximize the strength of your defense.
Request a free consultation with our attorneys today and discover how our firm can help.