Dos & Don'ts when stopped by police and you might have been drinking.
DRIVE WITH CAUTION
Police can not pull you over without a valid reason - they have to observe erratic driving or a traffic violation in order to pull you over. Do not speed up and slow down, drive too slow, weave or remain stopped at a green light. Always come to a complete stop at all stop signs and red lights, signal for a turn or lane change more than 100 feet before doing so and stay within your lane - do not drive on lane markers or the fog line. Also, keep your headlights, tail lights and all other equipment in proper working condition.
PULL OVER PROPERLY
Slow down and pull off the road, usually to the right, only when it is safe to do so. Use your turn signal to indicate your intent to the officer.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Be Polite. Do not argue with or complain to the Police. Do not try to run away, try to resist arrest or even try to touch the Officer. This does not mean that you have to cooperate and complying with requests that the Officers make.
HAVE YOUR DOCUMENTS READY
The first thing you will be asked after being stopped is for you to produce your drivers license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Know where they are and have them available to hand over. I keep my registration and proof of insurance attached to my visor so that I can hand them right over. The officer is looking for confusion and "fumbling" for documents.
SAY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
The Officer is listening for "slurred speech". Try to enunciate your words clearly. Also try not to breath on the Officer because he/she is going to try to smell the odor of alcohol. Don't try to talk your way out of the situation because you will just get you deeper in trouble.
TRY NOT TO LOOK AT THE OFFICER
The Officer is going to be looking in your eyes for signs of impairment such as "watery" or "bloodshot" eyes. If you are stopped at night you are going to be lit up with high beams and spotlights which is going to be very uncomfortable - just use your hand to shade or cover your eyes.
DO NOT DO FIELD SOBRIETY TEST
If the officer suspects DUII he/she will ask you to do what I call "Field Gymnastic Tests". They consist usually of an eye test, 9 step walk and turn test and a balance on one foot test. These are difficult if not impossible for most people to perform even when sober so don't do them. You will be nervous, possible in high heels and it might be cold or rainy - these are not optimal conditions to perform gymnastic exercises. The Officer is supposed to ask you to "consent" to doing these tests but they ususal are pretty insistent on you doing these tests - they are supposed to be voluntary. JUST SAY "NO THANK YOU".
DON'T GET OUT OF YOUR CAR UNLESS YOU ARE UNDER ARREST
The officer is going to be looking for signs of intoxication. The Officer has to have 'Probable cause" to arrest you - that means that he/she has to observe indications of intoxication. If you are just sitting in your car the officer is not going to be able to observe the indications of intoxication that would be observable if you get out of your car such as stumbling, staggering, swaying or falling down.
AT ARREST: "I REFUSE TO SAY OR DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU LET ME TALK WITH MY LAWYER":
Your lawyer is your best friend - the government is not. Get advice before you say or do anything.
They have to give you a "reasonable opportunity" to consult with anyone before taking the breath test. Ask for your cell phone or a land line and a phone book and call me right away. I can advise you on weather or not to take the breath test.
DUII is driving under the influence of intoxicants - that means any intoxicants - alcohol, controlled substances or inhalents. If you blow under a .08 they will likely "ask" you to submit to a "Drug Recognition Evaluation" (DRE) and possibly a urine sample to test for drugs.
PEE BUT NO DRE
I usually recommend that when confronted with the DRE process that you agree to provide a urine sample but refuse to submit to the physical examination.
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