One of the easiest ways to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive. However, people are human, and they can make poor choices. Even if you have had only one too many alcoholic beverages, you can face serious consequences for driving while intoxicated. You can also be pulled over for a DUI if a police officer suspects that you may have been drinking regardless of the reading on the breath test. The following are six things you need to know about getting stopped for a DUI.
1. Keep a Level Head
One of the first things an officer looks for is your level of impairment. Pick a safe place to pull over and try to relax. Listen closely to the officers instructions and place your hands on the wheel where they are visible to the officer. Remember to be polite, as you gain nothing from being rude and belligerent. Don’t reach for anything like your license, proof of insurance or registration until they instruct you to do so. The better the encounter starts off, the better chances you will have of it ending smoothly.
2. Don’t Offer Up too Much Information
The officer will ask for the typical information like your name, license and registration, but you are under no obligation to answer any questions that relate to your sobriety. If they ask whether you have been drinking, how much, and what you drank, you can politely tell them that you’ve been advised to never answer those sorts of questions. Offering up too much information will hinder your situation instead of helping it.
You are not legally required to perform any field sobriety tests if you get pulled over for a DUI. An officer may neglect to tell you that you don’t have to take them, and if you do perform the unnecessary tasks, they could exaggerate your every mistake. Most of these feats are difficult to accomplish perfectly even if you haven’t had anything to drink.
4. Refuse the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test
This is a hand held device that an officer requires the offender in question to blow into. Officers are supposed to notify you of your rights to refuse the test, but they often fail to do so. The PAS is unreliable, and it can lead to inaccurate readings that a prosecutor could use against you in court.
5. Request to Speak with an Attorney
If you are arrested for a DUI, your best option is to contact an Atlanta accident lawyer before submitting to any tests. An Atlanta accident attorney can give you experienced and knowledgeable advice before you submit to a breath alcohol test or blood alcohol test.
It’s important for your attorney to establish a detailed timeline of the events that occurred before your arrest. This includes what you drank, how much you were drinking, where you were at and who you were with. This should be created as soon as possible, so you can remember all of the details. Any receipts for purchases of food or drink and a list of witnesses are all useful bits of information to your attorney handling your case.
Getting stopped for drunk driving is a serious offense, and it can have crippling consequences if you don’t know what to do. The surest way to avoid this is to not drink and drive. However, if you find yourself in this situation, these tips are sure to help you minimize your risk of being charged and convicted for a DUI offense.
Molly Henshaw is a freelance writer living in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing author for the Atlanta law offices of Buddoo & Associates. Contact an attorney right away if you are facing DUI charges, they can help to protect your rights!