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What to do if you have been stopped by law enforcement and they suspect you are DUI

Do not give a police officer a reason to arrest you. You are under no legal obligation to answer any questions beyond providing basic identification. You do not have to submit to Field Sobriety Tests and only are required to take a chemical test if arrested for DUI.

The Red Lights Are Flashing

As soon as you realize a police officer is attempting to stop your vehicle pull over to the right safely and quickly. Slow down and don't forget to signal. Pull over as far to the right as possible well out of the way of traffic. The officer will appreciate you keeping his safety in mind.

What Now?

Make a good first impression. Roll down your window, turn the vehicle off, and place your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark it is a good idea to turn on your interior light so the officer can easily see into the vehicle. You don't want to make the officer nervous and this certainly isn't a good time to be rummaging through your vehicle looking for your registration and license. The officer doesn't know what you are doing and he may become nervous.

Be Polite Do Not Volunteer Information

Hopefully your earlier actions have put the officer at ease. In fact, in some situations they may have already decided they are just going to issue you a warning. However, if it is 2 AM on a Friday night they likely pulled you over because they suspect you are DUI. Don't talk firs, wait for the officer to ask questions. You are under no legal obligation to answer the officer's questions beyond providing your basic identification information. If the officer asks for your license and registration provide it. If you license is under your seat or you registration is in the glove box tell the officer where it is before making any quick movements, no reason to make them nervous. Do not provide any additional information, you are under no legal obligation to do so. Officer's ask additional questions because they are attempting to gather evidence to arrest you. Where are you going, have you been drinking, . . . Respectfully decline to answer and ask if you are free to leave.

Do Not Submit To Field Sobriety TestsYou are under no legal obligation to submit to Field Sobriety Tests (walking a line, ABC, Nystagmus, One Leg Stand). The purpose of these tests is for the officer to gather information to arrest you. Do not give the officer evidence. You are under no obligation to submit to these tests. Again, respectfully decline and ask if you are free to leave.

Do Not Take A Chemical Test Unless Arrested

Officers will often tell individuals they believe their on the borderline of being DUI and offer a breath test. They will tell you if you blow below a .08 you will be free to leave. You are under no legal obligation to take this test and if you have had anything to drink at all do not take it. Again politely decline and ask if you are free to leave. At this point the officer will have very little to base his decision to arrest you on and hopefully will let you go. If you are arrested for DUI you are now legally required to take a chemical test and refusing to do so will result is a license suspension. Even if you are arrested your case will be much easier to defend if you followed all the outlined steps. There will be very little evidence for the prosecution to rely on.

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