Steps To Take After Police Stop You For Drinking And Driving
Seeing the flashing lights of a police car behind you can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’ve had anything to drink - even a single glass of wine. However, the purpose of the police force is to serve and protect, not hunt down law-abiding citizens. If you are stopped under suspicion of drunk driving, your behavior and what you say may affect whether you are placed under arrest.
- Remain calm - There is no reason to panic. You have been stopped for suspicion of committing a traffic violation or other crime, and the officer needs more information before they can make an arrest. When approaching your vehicle, they assess you and your behavior. Acting overly nervous, disruptive or uncooperative can only hurt your case.
- Speak as little as possible - If you had even a sip of liquor, beer or wine prior to driving, your breath may smell like alcohol. Police officers are trained to listen for slurred words and detect the presence of alcohol on motorists.
- Keep your hands visible - The moment a police officer pulls you over, they begin watching your behavior. Constant motion in your vehicle — fidgeting, reaching down between the seats or to the passenger side — may cause the officer to believe you have committed or are committing a crime. The only time your hands should reach anywhere is when the officer asks you for your license, insurance and registration.
- Cooperate - You may be angry. You may believe you have been stopped unfairly or singled out. However, regardless of whether you had a single drink or are completely sober, never be uncooperative with police.
Know that if you are arrested, you have the right to a criminal defense lawyer and the right to remain silent until your lawyer arrives.