Be careful what you say in a DUI stop

Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but individuals still choose to get behind the wheel after drinking each and every day. Should you find yourself pulled over by police after drinking, you must be careful in what you say and do. Police officers have a great responsibility to protect the community, just as you have a responsibility to protect your own rights. So, how should you respond when the officer begins asking questions?

As soon as an officer pulls you over, and possibly before, he or she is already gathering evidence that may be used to convict you of a crime, whether you're truly guilty of any crime or not. In general, it is wise to remain calm and comply with the officer — but say as little as possible. You do not have to answer any questions beyond giving an officer your name. This is not to say that you should be rude (don't be rude!), but you may simply refuse to answer questions and ask for an attorney to protect your rights and advise you.

You may think that if you answer only a few questions, the officer will take it easy on you. While this is technically possible in the sense that anything could happen, the officer is not stopping you because he or she hopes to do you a favor. They stopped you because they suspect you are committing a crime. The less you say, the less that the prosecution has to bring against you later on. Do not admit to any wrongdoing, and do not consent to a search of your vehicle.

It is also important that you do not, under any circumstances, lie to a police officer. This may turn into an obstruction of justice charge. In many cases, this is a felony charge, which many drunk driving charges are not. It is wiser to simply let them do their job and remain silent until you have proper legal representation to protect you.

Source: Findlaw, "5 Things You Should Never Say to a Cop," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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