Getting pulled over can be a scary experience. Especially if you’ve been driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, you are putting yourself and others on the road at risk. However, from a legal standpoint, there are several things you specifically should and shouldn’t do when getting pulled over. If you ever find yourself in that situation, follow these rules to prevent incriminating yourself further.
Pull Over Calmly
The officer pulling you over is noting and watching every move, so it’s vital to pull over in a calm way. Slow down, pull over immediately, use your turn signal, and come to a complete stop. If you continue driving erratically or try to avoid getting pulled over, you’ll be putting yourself in bigger trouble.
Be Polite and Composed
The conversation you’re having with the officer is most likely being recorded, and they will look for evidence in the video that you were drunk or unreasonable. Don’t give anyone who watches the video a reason to think you were acting intoxicated or unreasonable. Call the officer “sir” or “ma’am” and cooperate with everything they say and tell you to do. The more you cooperate, the more you’re helping yourself out.
Never Admit to Drinking
The only information you have to give the officer is your name, driver’s license, registration, and car insurance details. You should never answer any other questions that may incriminate you, as those answers may be held against you later. For example, they may ask you how much you’ve drank, what you drank, or if you’re drunk, but you should stay silent or politely decline to answer.
If you have been arrested and are put in the police car, it’s even more important to stay silent. Most police cruisers have cameras and microphones so if you say or do anything incriminating, it’ll be recorded.
Do Not Agree to Field Sobriety Tests
The police may ask you to step out of your vehicle, and you should comply, but they cannot force you to complete field sobriety tests, as they’re entirely voluntary. When they ask you to perform them, politely decline by saying “my lawyer instructed me to not take these tests.” These tests are hard and unfair, and even if you are sober or only had a few drinks, there’s a chance you might still fail them.
It’s important to note that when you get out of the vehicle, don’t use your door or wheel to balance.
Do Not Take Any Chemical Tests
You should decline taking any chemical tests as well. This includes any blood, breath, or urine tests. The first reason is because breath tests can produce unreliable results and may falsely incriminate you. It may also incriminate you if you had been drinking, and you don’t want to provide any evidence that you’ve been drinking and driving.
In addition, if the officer is going to arrest you, they will do so anyway regardless of your chemical test results. No matter how much they try to persuade you, always say no.
Call an Attorney Immediately
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, the first thing you should do is call a trusted attorney. The Law Office of Jesse Hernandez has gotten countless clients out of DUI charges and will work their hardest to help you as well. Our DWI lawyers in Austin, TX know the ins and outs of Texas driving laws and can give you the highest odds of beating your case. Call us today to set up your initial consultation.