Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

When you attend a wedding or any party for that matter, sometimes, you just can’t avoid drinking. Though you don’t want to drink, your friends will coerce you to do so. Also, if a celebrant requests that you have a glass of champagne, how could you say “no”? Sometimes, you might also want to have a drink because you just want to let loose a little bit. But when you drink, it can be hard to keep track of how many glasses you’ve had. When you’re already having fun, you will most likely lose count of how much alcohol you’ve had. Then, when it’s time to go, you realize that you need to drive yourself home. Even though you want to take a cab, you can’t just leave your car in an unprotected parking lot. Besides, you also need your wheels the next day because how will you be able to get to work on time without your car, right? So, you groggily drive yourself home. Then, you hear the siren and see the blinking lights. Yes, a police officer is pulling you over. This scares you because you don’t want to get charged with DUI and go through all the legal proceedings. So, what should you do?

1. Be Calm

Many people panic when they see the flashing lights of a police car. Once people panic, they do all sorts of stuff. Some continue to drive, while others even speed up, which then leads to dangerous car chases. When you are pulled over, remain calm. Gently stop your car, take a couple of deep relaxing breaths, and then slowly roll your window down. Chances are, the officer just wants to ask about your broken tail lights or maybe he just wants to take a look at your license.

2. Don’t Forget Common Sense When Being Asked Questions

If the officer asks you if you’ve had a drink, be careful when answering. Never say, “Oh, I’ve had a few drinks.” You are raising a red flag and incriminating yourself. Keep in mind that the officer doesn’t know yet if you are driving under the influence. If you admit this, you are incriminating yourself. You can actually refuse to answer. It is your right to plead the fifth. However, always stay respectful and cooperative to avoid getting into an argument with the officer, which can be detrimental to your case. You can also choose to answer what’s being asked of you. But be very specific. You could say, “Yes, I’ve had a glass of champagne 2 hours ago.” But make sure that you stay consistent when giving details.

3. Refuse Tests Politely

When the officer suspects that you could be driving under the influence, he will ask you to perform certain tests. These are known as field sobriety tests. Tests include breath tests, walking tests and other tests to check if your blood alcohol level is within the legal limit, which is 0.08%. You can either cooperate and do the tests, or be polite and refuse the tests. Here are some of the consequences regarding both options. If you agree to do sobriety tests and fail them, you are providing evidence against yourself. These facts can be used to convict you of DUI. On the other hand, if you refuse to be tested, you will be asked to surrender your license for 6 months. This is what the Implied Consent Law is about. Most people prefer to refuse the tests and surrender their driver’s license instead of getting a DUI conviction, which will be on one’s records permanently.

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Claire Shaun writes for criminal lawyers in Broward County. There are so many factors that make each DUI case unique, and any driver suspected of DUI will surely benefit from the legal expertise of highly skilled attorneys.