If you’ve had one beer or one too many, it can be very intimidating to see a police cruiser in your rearview mirror. If they turn on their red and blue flashers, you may start to panic at the thought of a citation or jail time. However, you can put yourself in the best position to beat any charges by remaining calm and following some simple actions. Here’s some tips for how to act during a DUI traffic stop.
What to Do During A DUI Traffic Stop
Follow these steps if an officer pulls you over and you may or may not be over the legal driving limit.
1. Pull Over Safely – Once the officer activates their lights, put on your turn signal and start to make your way towards the side of the road. Find a safe location for both you and the police officer to park, but do this in a quick manner. Taking too long or stopping in an unsafe location is going to start the interaction off on the wrong foot.
2. Lights, Window and Hand Placement – Once you’re stopped, don’t start rifling through your glove compartment for your insurance card. Turn on your dome light, roll down your window, put your hands on the top of the steering wheel and wait for the officer to approach your vehicle.
3. Remain Calm – This part is easier said than done, but it’s imperative that you try to remain calm. Anxiousness will work against you during the encounter, so take some deep breaths and try to remain calm.
4. Provide Your Information – Hand the officer your license and registration if they ask for it. If you need to reach to your glove compartment, ask the officer for permission to reach for it, because sudden movements towards the glove box can unnecessarily escalate a situation.
5. Answer Their Questions Politely – “Yes sir” and “No ma’am” are good terms to add to your vocabulary for the interaction. Answer the basic questions they have, but be careful not to incriminate yourself. If they ask “Why were you swerving,” a simple response of “I was unaware I was swerving,” will suffice. Don’t say something like “I dropped my cell phone and was trying to grab it and must have swerved.”
6. Get Out Of The Vehicle If Asked – If an officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, do so. Don’t get angry or ask why. Refusal to get out of the car will certainly escalate the situation
7. Ask to Contact an Attorney – At this point, the officer is likely going to ask you to submit to a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer. Before you do so, you can ask the officer for a moment to consult with an attorney. Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer like Avery Appelman – (952) 224-2277 – to provide a brief explanation of the situation. Your lawyer may advise you to take the tests, or to refuse.
8.Follow Your Lawyer’s Advice – From there, follow your lawyer’s advice about the rest of the interaction. They’ll probably tell you to keep you keep your mouth shut, and they’ll tell you what to do if you are arrested or if you are allowed to leave. Listen to their advice, and let the rest of the traffic stop play out.
If you end up in handcuffs or with a traffic citation, your best chance of beating the charges are with an experienced criminal lawyer in your corner. We’ve helped hundreds of individuals in the same situation, and we can help you. For more information about what we can provide, or to sit down with an attorney for a free case evaluation, contact Appelman Law Firm today.