If you see the police vehicle’s flashing lights behind you and you have been drinking, you do not want to make your situation worse by not handling the stop properly. Mistakes can result in you facing even more serious criminal charges. Here we discuss the proper steps to take if you are pulled over by the police for suspicion of DUI.
What to Do If the Police Pull You Over for DUI
You have a duty to pull over when in this situation, but need to do so safely. Put on your signal to let the officer know that you are moving over to the side of road and stop on the right side of the road if possible. Here’s what you need to do when approached by the officer:
- Stay in your car. You should turn off your car and turn on your interior lights if it is dark out. Remain in your vehicle with your hands on your steering wheel where the police officer can see them.
- Don’t act suspicious. Avoid doing anything that would lead the police officer to believe that you are hiding or destroying something. For example, he could think that you are hiding something under your seat if you lean forward.
- Follow instructions. You should listen to what the officer is telling you and follow his instructions. Do not leave until he tells you to.
- Watch what you say. You want to be very careful with what you say. Answer the officer’s questions, but do not volunteer information or argue with him. Your words could hurt you later in court if you are charged with DUI.
- Do not reveal how much you had to drink. The police officer will most likely ask you how much you drank. You should not lie or underestimate how much alcohol you consumed. A better approach is to remain silent or advise the officer that you cannot recall exactly how much you drank.
- Don’t volunteer. Some roadside tests are voluntary. Before agreeing to take one, ask the police officer if the test is voluntary and consider refusing to do it if it is.
- Understand what it means to refuse a field sobriety test. In Virginia, like other states, there is an implied consent law that requires you to consent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. If you refuse and this is your first offense, your license could be suspended for one year.
If you have been charged with DUI, your first step should be to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation with a criminal law attorney at Tavss Fletcher.