A Friday night in Pensacola means an opportunity to unwind after a grueling week. But a night out on the town with your friends can turn sour quickly when you get pulled over. Getting pulled over creates a stressful situation, and you may react to the situation in ways that can make your DUI defense much more difficult down the road. By following these tips from the American Addiction Centers, you can help protect yourself and your reputation.
Find a safe and nearby place to get off the road.
Your interaction with the police begins as soon as they turn on their siren. While pulling over, make sure you are not putting yourself, the officers and other motorists at risk.
Whether this is your first time talking to police or not, your adrenaline probably kicked in as soon as you saw the flashing lights. Take a deep breath, and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Wait until the officer has asked for your identification before taking your hands out of the officer’s line of sight.
Do not incriminate yourself.
You have to provide your name, license, registration and insurance, but the required information stops there. If the officers ask if you have been drinking or how many drinks you have had, you do not have to answer.
While you interact with the officer(s), stay calm and polite. An aggressive interaction can quickly escalate a simple pull-over into an arrest.
Understand your sobriety testing options.
If the officer requests that you take a breathalyzer test, consider the situation carefully. Refusing a chemical test can result in an arrest and a license suspension, but you avoid giving the officers evidence to convict you of a DUI. If the officers arrest you, wait to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test until you are at the police station. If given a choice, opt for a breath test over urine or blood testing.
Talk to an attorney.
As soon as the police release you, write down all the details you can remember about your interaction with the police. An experienced criminal law attorney can use this information to begin constructing a strong defense against your DUI charges. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner they can begin working on your defense.