Driving under the influence (more commonly known as a DUI) can result in a serious charge. Since someone who is impaired behind the wheel can cause major damage to others on the road, you may face severe penalties if found guilty. Cooperating with police if you are pulled over can make things go a lot smoother, especially if you are truly impaired, and understanding what to do can help your case significantly. Here’s what to do if you’re pulled over for a DUI.
Pull Over Safely
The first and most important thing to do is to pull off on the side of the road in a safe manner. A police officer can use your actions in his statement about your sobriety, so slowing down carefully, not driving erratically and finding a safe spot to stop are essential for your case.
Don’t make any movements or do anything that looks suspicious, as that could put the officer on edge and indicate that you are drunk. People who are cooperative and polite are more likely to be received better by the officer than those who are rude.
Be Careful About What You Say
It is easy to incriminate yourself while you are talking to an officer, especially if they start asking questions about if you have been drinking or not. You are not legally required to answer (though you do have to give them your name, license, insurance and registration), but you should never lie. If your case goes to court, that can look particularly bad.
Don’t Complete a Sobriety Test
Unless you have been arrested, you are not legally required to complete a test or blow into a breathalyzer. These can falsely incriminate you, as the results can be widely inaccurate. The officer may suspend your license, but your other option may be doing jail time, so the former is better, especially once you can prove you were not guilty. Only if you are arrested do you have to take a breath or blood test when asked. You may also be required to give a urine sample.
Contact a Lawyer
You have the right to a lawyer like anyone else arrested for a crime, which is why you don’t have to say anything self-incriminating to an officer before speaking to one. Contacting a Civic Center San Francisco DUI lawyer, like from Hallinan Law Firm, even if you think you don’t need help can at least allow you to ask questions and get a better understanding of your state laws.