Regardless of your age, you could make the mistake of driving under the influence of alcohol. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be put under arrest, it definitely increases the risk of police pulling you over. Not to mention the fact that it also puts you at greater risk of causing an accident.
If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, here are a few tips you can follow to protect yourself and legal rights:
- Take immediate action: Once you know for sure that the officer is pulling you over, turn on your hazard lights and move to the side of the road. Don’t give them any reason to believe that you’re trying to get away or simply ignoring their prompt.
- Stay respectful: During the stop, don’t back talk, explain your legal rights or give the officer any other reason to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol. It’s not always easy to do, but stay respectful from beginning to end.
- Don’t say more than you have to: Technically, you don’t have to say anything. You have the right to remain silent. However, it’s okay to talk, as long as you don’t get into details that could implicate you of a crime. For instance, if the officer asks you if you’ve been drinking or how many drinks you had, a simple answer of “no” and “zero” is more than enough. You don’t have to go any further than that.
- Don’t resist arrest: Even if you feel that your arrest is rooted in something other than driving under the influence, don’t resist. You aren’t going to win, but taking this approach could result in additional criminal charges.
The best way to avoid this type of run-in with police is to never drive under the influence of alcohol. But even if you do that, police could make a mistake.
If you’re arrested, remain quiet, wait for your release and then turn your attention toward the details of your arrest and your case in general. This will help you formulate a DUI defense strategy that will protect your legal rights.