Police officers look for a variety of signs that a driver might be impaired, and it is possible to get pulled over for a suspected DUI even if you aren't driving under the influence. Knowing how to handle the situation properly can help you to remain calm and keep the officer at ease. Here are some things to remember if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI.
Pull Over Safely
Seeing the lights flash behind you can be a startling experience, and you may be tempted to pull over as quickly as possible. This, however, may not always be the safest option. You'll want to make sure you pull over where there is enough room to place your vehicle completely out of the way of passing vehicles. If you are not able to do this immediately, turn on your signal and slow down, letting the officer know that you are complying. Park your vehicle as straight as possible, keeping all parts of the car out of traffic. Place the car in park and turn off the engine, but be sure to roll down your window first if you have power windows.
Understand Your Rights
Anything you say to the police officer before an arrest can be used against you, so be sure you understand your rights before you ever get pulled over. You should comply with requests to provide your driver's license and proof of insurance, but you don't have to answer any questions that might implicate guilt. This is true even if you know you are innocent. For example, if the officer asks how much you've had to drink and you provide him with any amount, he may be motivated to investigate further. You do have the right to refuse questioning that might implicate your guilt, whether it be driving under the influence or any other crime.
Remain Calm And Courteous
Remaining calm and courteous is always a good idea when dealing with a traffic stop, but it is particularly important if you are invoking your 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. The more polite and courteous you are, the better the outcome of the traffic stop might be. Avoid making sudden movements that might make the officer nervous, and keep a calm, even tone of voice as you speak.
If you are arrested for drunk driving as the result of a traffic stop, be sure to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you are able so you can begin to build your defense and get your life back on track.