How To Talk To Police Officers (When Pulled Over For A DUI)
The job of a police officer was recently listed as being one of the most dangerous jobs in 2016. Given the nature of the job and the intense political climate these days, it’s no wonder that police officers are often aggressive and overly cautious when approaching a vehicle. They don’t know whom they’re pulling over or what dangers may lie in wait, so officers will almost certainly remain on high alert during traffic or DUI stops. That being said, individuals being pulled over for possible DUI’s should keep an officer’s attitude in mind as he or she approaches the vehicle.
The Dangers of DUI Stops
Workplace accidents are common, but especially accidents in the line of police duty. This is why everyone is advised to remain calm as the facts of a situation are sorted out. If you are driving and see lights flashing indicating you need to pull over, you may be scared. But, remember that the officer might be too; no matter how big or tough that officer appears.
Drivers who are pulled over for any vehicle offense, including a suspected DUI, will do themselves and the officers a favor by remaining calm throughout the situation. This will help individuals act reasonably, which means not mouthing off or challenging an officer who is simply doing his/her job. A police officer who encounters someone willing to follow the law will typically remain calm and reasonable as well.
What to Do if You Get Pulled Over
Anytime you are pulled over, either by verbal command or flashing lights, you need to signal, slow down and pull over. Put your vehicle in park, set the emergency brake, and turn off your engine.
Roll down the driver’s and passenger’s side windows, and then wait for the officer. Keep both of your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them. Don’t reach for documents until the officer asks for them. Then follow the officer’s instructions and stay cooperative.
How to Talk to Police Officers During a DUI Stop
The officer may ask you if you know why you are being pulled over. You won’t know for certain, so your answer will be “no.” You may throw in a Sir or Ma’am or something similar, if you want, but be polite however you choose to address the officer. The officer might ask you for your driver’s license, registration and insurance documents. Produce them cordially.
Aside from this, you should not engage the officer in conversation or answer any questions. The officer will probably ask you if you’ve been drinking or how much you’ve had to drink. You might hear questions like, “Where have you been tonight?” or “Where are you heading to?” You don’t have to answer any questions, nor should you. Anything you say may be used in court, plus the officer may smell intoxicants coming from your mouth and on your breath. Don’t lie or be vague, simply say nicely that you do not want to answer any questions without an attorney present.
If the officer truly suspects you of drunk driving, you will probably be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Do not agree. Do get out of the car, however, if the officer asks you to. Regarding any questions or sobriety tests, firmly and calmly state that you will not be answering questions or taking tests without your lawyer present. If you stay calm through the entire scenario, you will likely be let go if the officer does not suspect you of driving under the influence. Or, you will be arrested.
Remember if a police officer informs you that you are being arrested for a suspected DUI, you do not want to incriminate yourself. You have the right to remain silent, and you should remain silent. At this point, the only thing you need to need to ask for is an attorney, or to call your DUI lawyer once you have the opportunity. Let your DUI attorney handle it from there, and know this kind of behavior will help keep the situation from getting out of hand or becoming dangerous for you or the officer.