Being stopped by the police for any reason can be scary and stressful. However, if the police believe you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the potential consequences are serious.
Because of what you may lose if arrested and convicted of this crime, it’s important to know what you can do to protect your rights when pulled over on suspicion of a DUI.
Don’t admit to anything
There’s a good chance that the officer will ask you questions like, “What were you doing tonight?” or “Have you been drinking?” These questions are to get you to admit to drinking and can be used by the officer to judge if you seem intoxicated. You have the right not to answer these questions. Don’t be rude or confrontational; however, you can say you would prefer not to answer.
Consider your options
California, like other states, has implied consent laws. That means that, if you are arrested, you have presumptively agreed to take a chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. You are not, however, required to participate in roadside sobriety testing. Agreeing to those can give the police more fodder to make their case against you.
Any time you are dealing with the police, for any reason, being cooperative and polite is a must. If you seem combative or argue with what they say, it may make the situation worse. While you can resolutely stand by your rights, you don’t want to give the police any ability to claim that you were resisting their lawful authority.
Protecting your rights during a DUI stop
If you are pulled over and the officer suspects you have been drinking, keep the tips above in mind. Doing so will help you protect your rights during the stop. It’s also smart to get in touch with a California criminal attorney if you are charged with drunk driving to help you defend your case.