If you have alcohol in your system, the last thing you want to see is police lights in your rearview mirror. This alone is enough to scare you straight, but the real fear is sure to set in once you pull to the side of the road.
Even if you've been drinking, it doesn't necessarily mean the officer will arrest you. Here are five important steps to take:
- Stay in your vehicle: Once you pull over, stay in your vehicle and wait for the officer to arrive at your window. Also, keep your hands on the wheel and put your window down when the officer requests you to do so.
- Remain polite: Forget about how the officer is treating you. It's important to remain polite at all times, even if you feel that you're being mistreated in some way.
- You don't have to answer questions: You want to follow directions and remain respectful, but you don't want to say anything that could incriminate you. If you're not comfortable answering a particular question, ask for clarification or simply tell the officer that you don't want to speak.
- Don't say too much: It's easy to fall into the trap of candidly telling the officer what you're up to. For example, you may say something like "I only had one drink a couple hours ago." This doesn't typically help, as the officer has heard every excuse and reason in the book. You're better off complying with basic questions, while avoiding sharing any unnecessary information.
- Remain calm if you're put under arrest: It's not always easy to do, but fighting back will only make things worse. This can result in additional criminal charges, such as resisting arrest. At this point, the best thing you can do is remain calm, follow directions and keep quiet.
It's scary to find yourself pulled over for any reason. This is particularly true if the officer suspects that you're driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
If you're arrested, don't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. The sooner you do this the sooner you can decide on a defense strategy that will help you avoid a conviction and the punishment typically associated with it.
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