Getting pulled over by the police is not a fun activity in any circumstance, but it certainly becomes more serious and potentially carries more consequences if an officer pulls you over for suspected driving under the influence.
For example, imagine driving home after a very successful Happy Hour in Omaha when you suddenly see red and blue lights lighting up the interior of your car. While an officer has to have a legitimate reason to stop you, during the encounter is typically not the time to state your case. If you attempt to argue with the officer, it could lead to more trouble. Instead, save your argument for your day in court.
Since a DUI stop is not the time to try to prove your innocence, you may be wondering what else you should do. First, you should not do anything to exacerbate the situation. In other words, avoid being rude or belligerent, even if you feel the police officer is wrong. In addition, you should follow these tips during a DUI stop.
Pull over as soon as possible
As soon as a police officer flashes his or her lights, you should start looking for a safe place to pull over as quickly as possible. If you are not in a safe place to stop, slow down and turn on your hazards so that the officer knows you intend to stop. Once you have found a safe place to pull over, turn off the engine and put your hands on the steering wheel so that they are in plain sight. Whatever you do, do not get out of the car until the officer instructs you to.
Take the 5th
As mentioned above, you should avoid pleading your case during the DUI stop. And, while you should always be respectful and polite to law enforcement officers, this does not mean that you have to say anything that incriminates you. Instead, you can invoke your 5th Amendment rights and remain silent. In fact, being candid about the one drink you had at Happy Hour will not do anything to help your case.
After the officer talks to you for a few minutes and has you run through a few field sobriety tests, he or she will probably arrest you. Don’t panic and don’t fight. Instead, remain calm during the process and do not do anything that could result in additional charges or hurt your case.
If you are facing a DUI charge, keep in mind that you still have rights and options. With the right defensive strategy, you might be able to beat the charges and avoid a criminal conviction.