The scenario is all too common. You decide to go out for a fun night with friends, and decide to have a cocktail or two to relax. Then, one or two turn into more, but you still feel fine. So, you decide it’s time to head home.
Then suddenly, you see those flashing blue lights behind you and you realize you are being pulled over. Almost at the same moment, you realize that you had a few glasses of wine with dinner, and an after dinner drink..and that free shot your friend insisted you take. Your gut tightens into a knot. Am I about to get a DUI? What do I do? What should I say? Is my life ruined?
The fact is, that the only way to avoid a DUI, is to not drink and drive. However, know that people make mistakes. The most important thing to remember is that your life is not ruined. It’s also important to remember these 5 quick tips, in the circumstance of being pulled over when drinking and driving.
- Find a safe place to pull over
As soon as a police officer turns on the blue lights, signaling for you to pull over, he or she begins making observations. If the officer believes that you are driving while impaired, he or she will note these observations in the offense report. The offense report can have a significant impact on the outcome of your criminal case. One of the first observations the police officer makes is your behavior. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the officer will note it in his report.
- Do not make any sudden movements
Police officers are trained to protect themselves, and to be cautious. Almost always, a police officer will approach a car from behind so they have a clear view. One of the most important things to remember is to not make any sudden movements. Be sure keep your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2, and make sure to remain calm.
- Be respectful
It is a common rule of thumb that is you want someone to respect you, you should show them respect first. This is also true when dealing with a police officer. Anytime a police officer pulls you over, you will likely be recorded on video. Most police cars have video cameras mounted on the dash of the police car, and microphones mounted on the police officer. The video of your arrest could help make or break your case. If you are disrespectful or hostile, the officer is likely to do everything possible to get you convicted. Also, the judge will view the video, and will most likely side with the officer on the decision to show you mercy.
- Do not answer any potential incriminating questions, and do not lie.
Upon being pulled over on the suspicion for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) you will need to be prepared to provide the police officer with a few documents. When the police officer approaches your vehicle, they will ask your name, for your driver’s license, and proof of insurance. You are required to provide the officer with this information, nothing else. After you have provided the officer with this information, it is important to remember that you may exercise the Fifth Amendment. You DO NOT have to provide any further information to the officer.
- As soon as you are released, immediately write down everything that you can remember about the night you were arrested.
The more notes you take about your arrest, and the more you can document, the easier it will be for a DUI attorney to fight your case. Be sure to note some of the following in your notes:
- What you were doing and where were you before you drove?
- How much did you have to drink that day and/or night?
- How much did you tell the cop you had to drink?
- Did you ingest, intentionally or not, any drugs?
- How long was it after you drank or did drugs that you were arrested?
- How did the officer behave?
- What did you tell the officer?
- What did the officer tell you?
- How many police cars were on the scene?
- Where were you when you were pulled over?
- Where and when, if at all, were you read your Miranda rights?
- If you provided a breath or blood sample, how long had it been since you had a drink?
- What time were you pulled over?
- What was the reason the officer cited for pulling you over?
- Did you take any field sobriety tests, or a Breathalyzer on the scene?
As always, the best way to avoid a DUI is to not operate a vehicle after drinking. However, if you have been accused of a DUI, or DWI, it is important to contact experienced, proven DUI attorney as quickly as possible, so that we may begin building your case. Finding an attorney with experience as a former prosecutor, such as Scott Brannen, will increase your chances of getting the best possible outcome for your case .
Scott has an unmatched level of skill and legal knowledge when it come to drunk driving incidents, and will work diligently to defend against a DUI conviction. Whether you have been arrested for your first drunk driving offense or you are facing felony DUI charges, you can trust that W. Scott Brannen and The Brannen Law Office, P.C. have what it takes to successfully defend you against the maximum penalties of a conviction.
So, if you have been accused of a DUI, or DWI, contact The Brannen Law Office, P.C. today, and schedule a consultation. The earlier we may begin building your case, the more likely we will be able to help you keep your license, and to get the charges brought against you reduced or dismissed.