If you’ve made the choice to get behind the wheel of your vehicle after drinking that night you may have put yourself at grave risk of getting injured in an accident. To keep yourself and others on the road safe it is critical that you designate a driver when you go out drinking or utilize ride share services like Uber to get you and your friends or family members home safely. However, safety is not the only risk you are taking by getting behind the wheel of your vehicle after drinking. It is possible that while you’re driving under the influence you may get pulled over by a police officer. While you won’t be there with a New Haven DUI attorney in the moment, there are some things you should know to make sure you protect your interests during the situation.
Being pulled over when you know you’ve been drinking can be a nerve racking experience. One of the most important things you can do is to stay calm. This can be challenging, especially if you are aware that you have done something wrong. The bright lights of the police car can be blinding and the waiting for the officer to approach your vehicle can feel like it takes an eternity. In that moment you need to know that your most important job is to remain calm so you can handle the situation in a way that will limit your exposure for drinking and driving under the influence.
When you are being pulled over by a police officer you should take the following steps to handle the situation.
1.) Pull over safely. When an officer signals to you that you are being pulled over, you should do so very carefully and always with your turn signal and an effort to find a safe place to pull off to the side of the road.
2.) Once you are pulled over safely you will want to roll down your window and make sure the interior lights of your vehicle are on, this will allow you to be seen by the officer without struggle, eliminating one of the irritants that could exist for the officer who is trying to investigate your particular situation.
3.) Be polite to the officer. While you have an absolute right to remain silent, you can do so in a polite and non threatening way. You can answer questions with yes or no and you should feel under no obligation to elaborate on any of your answers. If there is a question that you do not want to answer you can politely decline to answer it. As long as you remain calm and polite you should be able to handle the situation with ease.
4.) You CAN refuse a field sobriety test, however if you do, be prepared that you may be taken into custody for failing to take the test. This does not mean that you are facing any sort of penalty, it just means that you are not being allowed to get back behind the wheel by the officer. It is important to know that you are under no obligation by law to take a field sobriety test.
One of the most important things you can do if you are pulled over and you’ve been drinking is to remain silent. Do not admit any wrong doing and request access to your lawyer. If you do not already have a New Haven DUI attorney to call you may be allowed to secure one before answering any questions that may or may not incriminate you in the situation you are in.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of representation after a DUI arrest you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience with situations just like yours. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.