Knowing what to do when you’re pulled over and suspected of drunk driving could help you avoid going to jail for DUI. Here are 7 dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you see those red lights flashing behind you.
If you were pulled over and charged with a DUI, an experienced Valdosta defense attorney can help you avoid the harshest criminal penalties. Call The George McCranie Law Firm today to find out how we can help you fight your DUI charges.
1. Don’t Give the Officer Reason to Suspect You’re Driving Drunk
The first thing you should remember to do when pulled over is that anything you say or do will be recorded by the officer in their police report. The report will carry a lot of weight in a criminal trial for DUI, as well as hearings on the revocation or suspension of your driver’s license. So, remember these 3 tips so you don’t validate the officer’s suspicion that you are drunk.
- Pull over in a safe place. Be sure that you signal and drive cautiously as you make your way to the side of the road. Don’t swerve or make any sudden movements. And pull over to a safe location.
- Don’t make sudden movements. Just as you don’t want to make any sudden movements with your car, you also don’t want to make any sudden or suspicious movements with your body. Avoid turning around to watch the officer approach and don’t hide in embarrassment. Instead, stay in your car and keep your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock on your steering wheel until the officer reaches your window and asks for your ID.
- Be polite. If you are disrespectful or aggressive, the officer is more likely to arrest you for DUI and write an incriminating police report. Instead, be sure to be as respectful and cooperative as you can be without coming off as sarcastic or insincere.
2. Don’t Give Any Answers That Could Incriminate You
You will have to provide your name, license, registration, and insurance information to the officer when they request it. But, if the officer asks you if you have been drinking or how much, tell them that you have been advised not to answer any questions. This way, you don’t risk incriminating yourself for a crime you might not have committed.
While you don’t need to answer any potentially incriminating questions, you shouldn’t lie, either. If the officer suspects that you are lying, this can be used against you in court.
3. Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
You don’t have to agree to all requests the officer makes, including a request to take a field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse the horizontal gaze nystagmus, one-leg stand, or walk-and-turn test. These tests are subjective tools the officer uses to collect evidence against you. They are in no way a reliable, scientific indicator of intoxication.
4. Think Twice Before Refusing Breathalyzer or Chemical Tests
When you drive on Georgia roads, you have consented to take a breathalyzer test or any other test of body chemicals such as blood, urine, or saliva that could indicate whether you have alcohol or drugs in you. Refusing a breathalyzer or chemical test results in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license. Your refusal could also be used against you at your DUI trial to show that you were uncooperative and had something to hide.
If you’re asked to take a breathalyzer test, you have the right to request an independent test at your own expense performed by qualified personnel you choose. If your request for an independent test isn’t adequately accommodated by the officer, your attorney can challenge the results of the officer’s breathalyzer test.
5. Write Everything Down
You should write down everything you can remember about your arrest. Do this while it is fresh in your memory to help your attorney fight the charges against you. For example, note the following:
- what you were doing and where you were before you drove,
- what you were wearing,
- how much you had to drink,
- how long after you were drinking before you were pulled over or tested,
- what the officer said or did,
- what you said, and
- whether you were read your Miranda rights.
Learn More About What to Do When Pulled Over for DUI
The most important thing you can do for yourself if you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving is to find a qualified, experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process. If you were pulled over and charged with a DUI, an experienced Valdosta defense attorney can help you avoid the harshest criminal penalties. Call The George McCranie Law Firm today to find out how we can help you with a DUI or DWI.