As you drove, a police squad car flashed its lights, and the police officer pulled over your car. Your weaving on the road alerted him, and the officer suspected you of drunk driving.
Because you understand that a DUI arrest and charge is serious, you want to make sure to avoid making any mistakes that could work against you in court. You do not want a jail sentence, probation, a steep fine and loss of your driver’s license.
Making incriminating statements, resisting arrest
Here are five things that you must avoid doing after being pulled over on a suspected DUI charge:
- Talking too much: You do not have to answer questions. The only things you need to do are provide your name, driver’s license and proof of insurance. The officer wants to you to talk in hopes that you will make incriminating statements.
- Agreeing to a field sobriety test: Granted, you are nervous already from the traffic stop. The officer may ask you to take field sobriety tests related to walking, balancing and mental agility. There is the chance you may stumble or mix up your words. Instead, tell the officer that your attorney advised you not to take such tests.
- Agreeing to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test: Officers in the field rely on the PAS device – a portable breathalyzer – to measure alcohol content and seek probable cause for the arrest. These devices are not always accurate compared with an evidential breath testing (EBT) device found at police stations and jails.
- Disputing the charges: You may come across as a cocky know-it-all or someone whose anger cannot be controlled. Keep your emotions and lecturing in check.
- Resisting arrest or fleeing a police officer: Expect additional criminal charges when taking such actions. Doing so may lead to a scuffle with the arresting officer. If you choose to flee in your vehicle, you may crash, causing property damage and even serious injuries to other drivers.
Taking any of these actions will not work in your favor. Stay calm and provide only basic information when asked questions.
Seek legal advice
Upon a DUI arrest, understand that you are working from a disadvantage. This is the time to avoid mistakes. But it also is the time to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.