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What To Do (And What Not To Do) If You're Pulled Over With Suspicion Of DUI

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The easiest way to avoid a DUI charge is to never drink and drive in the first place. However, even if you never drink and drive, this doesn't guarantee that a police officer won't pull you over under the suspicion that you're driving under the influence. For example, you may take your eyes off the road for a few seconds, resulting in your vehicle momentarily crossing the center line of the road. It's not unreasonable for an officer to take this as a sign of drunk driving and to pull you over in order to complete an investigation.

Whether you've been drinking or not, there are some important things to remember if you're pulled over by an officer conducting a DUI investigation.

DO Be Courteous

This applies to any interaction with a police officer, but it's especially important during a traffic stop. Put your hazard lights on, pull off to the side of the road, and (if it's dark out), turn your dome light on to await further instruction. This will show the officer that you're complying and not going to make any sudden moves. Be prepared to provide your license and proof of insurance, but only once the officer asks. Don't make harsh, sudden movements for your glovebox or anywhere else in the vehicle.

DON'T Admit to Drinking

Many officers will begin a DUI investigation by asking "how much have you had to drink tonight?" However, you're under no legal obligation to answer this. After all, even if you had half a beer several hours ago and are completely sober, an officer could use your admission of drinking earlier in the day as cause to further the investigation. Instead, feel free to tell the officer that you have nothing to say on that matter.

DO Know Your State's Laws

You always have the right to refuse field sobriety testing, but if you plan on doing this, you should be aware of the potential consequences. For example, in some states, refusal of a field sobriety test could cause you to have your license suspended. Furthermore, once you refuse field testing, an officer with enough probable cause can still require you to complete a blood alcohol test or a breath test--and the repercussions of refusing these can be even more serious.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, in addition to contacting a DUI lawyer like Winstein, Kavensky & Cunningham, LLC. if you ever find yourself facing a DUI charge, you can best protect your rights and interests.