No one wants to see the flashing lights of a police car behind them when they've had a couple of drinks before getting behind the wheel. Even though that traffic stop may save your life or the lives of others, at the time, you're likely frightened.
The way you respond in the ensuing minutes and hours can have an important impact on the consequences you face later on. Following are some important things to remember if you're stopped because a law enforcement officer believes you're driving under the influence.
-- As with any traffic stop, carefully pull over in a location that's safe for you and for the officer, and turn off the engine. Keep your hands visible on the steering wheel and don't make any sudden movements that could make the officer fear for his or her safety.-- Provide your license, registration and insurance when the officer requests it. Politely inform the officer that you're not going to answer any questions. Often, when people drink, they get chatty. Resist the urge to answer what may seem like innocuous questions like where you're coming from or where you're going. Often, no good comes from that.
-- While there are differing opinions on this, some legal experts recommend that you decline to perform any field sobriety tests, including a Breathalyzer without a warrant. You can face a license suspension for failing to comply, but that's going to happen if you're found to be over the legal limit anyway.
-- If you're arrested and taken to a police station or other facility, continue to be polite, but remain silent. At that point, you do need to comply with a request for a Breathalyzer or blood test. If you're given a choice, choose the Breathalyzer, because there's more room for error, which could help get your charges dismissed.
-- Document the circumstances surrounding the arrest as soon as you're able to. Any failures by law enforcement to properly carry out the arrest, such as not reading you your rights can potentially help get your case dismissed.
-- As soon as possible, either while you're in custody or when you're released, you should consult a Connecticut attorney with experience handling DUIs.
An attorney can examine the evidence, advise you of your legal options, work to protect your rights and help minimize the impact of a potential DUI conviction on your life.
Source: Newswire, "What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for Drunk Driving," Sara Williams, Sep. 14, 2016