If you are driving in the Baltimore area this holiday season, you can expect increased police patrols. Police know the holidays are a time when many people celebrate – and drink – and they are on the look-out for anyone whose had too much and gotten behind the wheel.
If you find yourself pulled over, take and deep breath and try to stay calm – and make sure you know what NOT to do.
Don’t Volunteer Information
Police officers often come across as friendly and approachable, but they are not on your side. From the moment you are pulled over, everything you do and say is being evaluated by police. When police ask you questions, give limited answers. You can’t talk your way out of a DUI – don’t attempt to do so.
Don’t Admit That You’ve Been Drinking
Police will often ask you if you’ve been drinking. Do not answer this question. Under no circumstances should you admit that you had a drink. Your statement will be used against you later and will give police probable cause to issue field sobriety tests and a Breathalyzer.
Don’t Be Rude
Just because you shouldn’t volunteer information doesn’t mean you should be rude. Mouthing off to police officers won’t get you anywhere. In fact, belligerent behavior can actually be used against you later on as evidence of your intoxication. In extreme cases, aggressive behavior can even result in additional criminal charges.
Don’t Take Field Sobriety Tests If You Can’t Pass Them
In Maryland, you don’t have to take field sobriety tests, even if police ask you to. The purpose of these tests is to gather evidence of your intoxication. Stumbling, tripping, dropping your keys, fumbling around in your purse or any other clumsy behavior will be used against you later on. If you’ve been drinking, do not take the tests.
Don’t Agree To A Breathalyzer Without Talking To An Attorney
Many people don’t know that they have the right to have an attorney present while taking a breath or blood test. Invoke this right. A lawyer can analyze the situation and determine whether you should take the test or refuse.