If you are driving home from a party late one night and are stopped by law enforcement under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), then the actions you take can greatly affect the outcome of this unfortunate situation. Whether you have consumed any alcohol or not, there are very specific things you should and should not do after the police have pulled you over, including each of the following:
Do: Find a Safe Place to Pull Your Car Over
When the police pull up behind you and turn on their lights, you need to look for a safe place to pull your car over to the side of the road.
If you are on a highway, you should pull all the way to the right and park in an area of the shoulder where the officer will be safe approaching your vehicle. If you are in the city, then you should pull into a parking lot where you can interact with the police officer in relative safety.
Don't: Act Like a Jerk to the Police Officers
When the officer approaches your car, make an effort to be nice to them. If you start acting like a jerk because you are angry about being stopped, then the officer will look harder for things you can be ticketed for. Instead, be polite and try to remember that the cops are just doing their job, and they probably don't want to be there either. Being rude to the police officers is the easiest way to make your situation a whole lot worse.
Do: Agree to Take the Required Breathalyzer Test
Since the cops pulled you over because they believed you may be under the influence of alcohol, they will most likely demand that you blow into a breathalyzer machine. The breathalyzer shows your current alcohol count. While you may be tempted to refuse to take this test and opt for a blood test or other testing at a later time, in most states, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, then your driver's license will automatically be suspended for at least a year.
Don't: Agree to Take Any Non-Required Tests
While you don't really have any choice other than to take the breathalyzer test, you do have the ability to deny participating in field sobriety or other tests. The best thing you can do is to ask the cops if a test they want you to take is required by law. If they say that a test is not required, then politely decline to take it.
For additional information on how to handle a DUI charge, contact a law firm like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC.