You can potentially pay fines, go to jail or lose your driver’s license when you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Your actions at a DUI stop may determine the probability of facing these penalties. Thus, if the police have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving and they stop you, it will help to be careful about your moves.
Here are three things to avoid:
Answering all questions
It’s crucial to cooperate with the police, but this doesn’t mean answering all questions. The police mostly ask leading questions at a DUI stop. They want to obtain information they can use against you. Thus, it may be best to exercise your right to remain silent.
Use responses such as:
- “Officer, I’m choosing to remain silent.”
- “Sir/ma’am, I’m not comfortable answering that.”
- “Officer, I have been advised not to answer that.”
These statements show that you respect the officers’ work but will remain silent.
Note that you have to say them. Simply staying silent may not be sufficient to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights. Besides, the police can use silence against you.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test
You should allow the police to conduct a breathalyzer test. Refusing to take the test may result in license revocation and a $500 penalty ($550 for commercial drivers).
Different defense strategies for a DUI charge exist. Thus, even if your test results are positive, you can defend yourself.
Of course, you may not appreciate how an officer handles the case. However, you should not get angry. Instead, pay attention to their mistakes – you can use them during your defense.
If you are stopped for a DUI, you should avoid these mistakes. It will help to get legal guidance to understand the appropriate steps for your circumstances.