Driving while under the influence isn’t something that you should be doing at all. However, if you get pulled over, know that you still have rights. Here are some tips if the police pull you over for suspicion of a DUI.
You Don’t Have to Give Unnecessary Information
In order to be pulled over by police, they need to have probable cause. If you’re pulled over and asked for your license, registration, and name, then that is the information you should give them. If you’ve been drinking, you can choose whether or not you want to be upfront with that information. However, you should be aware that you have the right against self-incrimination and can “Plead the Fifth.”
If you choose to do that, do you’re best to be polite and respectful as to not escalate the situation. You can simply say that you’d rather not answer their question as they would then have to prove that you were in the wrong in order to charge you.
You Can Choose to Refuse a Test
The officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test. You should be aware that these are voluntary and that you have the right to refuse it. Such tests are used to determine whether or not there is probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving. You’re under no obligation to take any tests in the field. In some states, this may also include a hand-held breathalyzer test—whether or not that part is voluntary may depend on the state you’re in.
If they insist, explain to the officer that you would rather take a more accurate test (such as a blood test). In this case, you may be escorted to the police station or a local hospital for a more accurate test at this point. Refusing to take a test could also result in the suspension of your license.
You Can Refuse a Vehicle Search
Many people get tripped up because they want to comply with all of the officer’s requests. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, you can refuse them. Your vehicle is still your property. The police either need your permission or a search warrant to be able to look inside your vehicle. Throughout the situation, don’t make any sudden moves or engage in any suspicious activity. This can provide the officer with the grounds that they need to arrest you.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
If you’re arrested, make sure to insist on calling your lawyer. Don’t answer any of the officer’s questions. You don’t want to provide them with any information that can be used against you. Once you’ve requested your attorney, the police are not legally allowed to continue questioning you. Have the right DUI attorneyto help you deal with this situation. This can mean the difference between whether the case will proceed to trial or be dropped.
Police rely on the fact that you may not be aware of your rights in order to get more information out of you. Know your rights so that you won’t get caught in this trap.
Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.