What To Do When Pulled Over For A DUI
Seeing police lights and hearing sirens in your rearview mirror is a scary experience, especially if you have been drinking. Even when you have not consumed alcohol, being pulled over can be intimidating and overwhelming for anyone. The things you say and the actions you take will have a dramatic impact on your case. Below, our Ouachita Parish DWI and DUI lawyer explains the most important things to do, and not do, if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI.
Pull Over Safely
It is important to let the officer know as soon as possible that you intend to pull over. Put on your signal and as soon as it is safe to do so, pull your vehicle over. Turn off your engine, place your hands on the wheel, and wait until the officer approaches your window and gives further instructions.
Remain Calm and Polite
Panicking will only make the situation worse, so it is important to remain calm. Remember that you always have the right to remain silent and you do not have any legal obligation to answer the officer’s questions. Although the situation is upsetting, remember to remain polite with the police officer, too. Do not interrupt the officer while they are talking and only speak when asked a question, keeping in mind you do not have to answer it.
Do Not Admit to Drinking
Even if you have had one or two drinks, you should never admit this fact to the police officer. The question of whether or not you have been drinking is an incriminating and subjective one, and your answer will be used against you. Tell the officer that you prefer to wait until your attorney is present before you answer any questions.
Cooperate with the Officer
Although you do not have to answer the officer’s questions, you should cooperate when certain things are asked of you. The officer will likely ask for your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration. If you have to reach for these documents, such as when they are in your glove compartment, tell the officer that you have to access them from another area of the vehicle. The officer will also likely ask you to step out of your vehicle, and you should comply with this request, as well.
Refuse Any Field Sobriety Test
The officer may ask you to take certain field sobriety tests, including standing on one leg or walking in a straight line. You are not required to take any of these tests and you will not face any legal consequences if you refuse. Never submit to a field sobriety test, as the results are highly subjective and can only be used against you.
Call a DWI and DUI Lawyer in Ouachita Parish
If you have been charged after a police officer has pulled you over, the first thing you should do is contact our Ouachita Parish DWI and DUI lawyer. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our seasoned attorney has the expertise to challenge chemical tests and other evidence against you so you have the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us now at 318-387-2776 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.