DUI Tips: How to Handle a Traffic Stop
A DUI stop can be an extremely stressful situation, especially if you have never been stopped previously. The team at the Law Office of James Novak knows this is true, which is why we think it's important that you understand your rights and options before an arrest is even made.
Our DUI defense attorneys have helped countless people facing drunk driving charges, and the following tips on traffic stops will help you understand what to do in case you are pulled over.
Nervousness Is Normal, But Stay Calm
When you're stopped by law enforcement, a bevy of thoughts may race through your mind. It might be easy to simply panic in such a trying situation. However, if you find yourself in such a situation, panicking should be the last thing that you do. Below are a few tips to keep in mind to help you how to handle a DUI stop
Be Polite and Courteous
No matter how agitated or unjustified you feel your DUI stop was, always stay calm and be polite to your officer. While you may be tempted to state your case, keep in mind that police officers are trained to control the situation, and as such, as equipped with a number of methods to do so. There is rarely any benefit to mouthing off to an officer, and doing so may ultimately find you in deeper trouble than you were originally in for your DUI stop.
Have Your License and Registration Ready or Easy to Find
Make sure you have your license and registration are both easily accessible. You are already in a precarious situation, and making it difficult to locate your paperwork will put you in an even more difficult situation to navigate as your officer processes your DUI stop.
Assert Your Rights Regarding Field Sobriety Tests
If a police officer asks you to perform a physical act to test your sobriety, feel free to politely decline. The only test you are required to take in this situation is a chemical test. However, it is not a punishable act to decline any additional tests to determine whether or not you are sober during your DUI stop.
Avoid Actions That Would Otherwise Result In a Traffic Stop
Many times people may be just at or slightly over the legal limit but something about their driving will result in cause for a traffic stop. Here are some basic things that lead to people to being pulled over regardless of intoxication:
- Broken are shoddy front or rear vehicle lights
- Missing or damaged license plates on either or both sides of your vehicle
- Reckless driving, including ignoring stoplights and/or street signs, and especially speeding
- Suspicious behavior, including swerving and weaving between lanes with abandon
Additional Points to Know During Your DUI Stop
The best way, of course, to avoid being pulled over for a DUI stop would be to avoid the situation altogether. If you feel you may be too impaired to drive, ask someone you are with to drive you home, or if you are in the comfort of a friend’s home, spend the night and drive home in the morning.
Speak with Our Attorneys About Your Legal Options
If you have been arrested for drunk driving and would like to learn more about your legal rights, be sure to contact our DUI defense lawyers today. During your visit to our law firm, we will be sure to fashion a defense strategy that helps get your charges dropped or reduces fines and other penalties that you may face.