Drunk driving is a serious offense with far-reaching personal and legal implications if you are convicted. Even if you are not caught, drunk driving is a serious safety risk to yourself and other road users. Whatever you do, do not operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other inebriating substances.
If the police have reasonable suspicion that you could be drunk behind the wheel, they will pull you over for investigation. What you do, or do not do, during the stop can greatly impact the outcome of your case. That said, here are two mistakes you want to avoid at all costs during a DUI stop.
Refusing the stop
For the police to stop you, there (legally-speaking) must be a reason. In the context of drunk driving, you must have been hugging the centerline, weaving in and out of your lane, braking and speeding erratically or otherwise breaking some traffic rule. Refusing to stop when the police signal you to do so will compound your problems. In fact, this amounts to evading the police. And besides the possible DUI charge, you might face additional charges.
Refusing to cooperate
During the stop, the police will ask for your identification. They’ll most likely ask you a couple of questions too, like where you are driving from et cetera. Also, they might ask you to take a field sobriety test as well as the breathalyzer test. It’s important that you answer when asked for your name and that you hand over your identification. Additionally, keep in mind that if you refuse a breathalyzer test if you’ve already been arrested, this will result in immediate suspension of your driver’s license.
Finally, if the police make the decision to arrest you, it’s crucial that you cooperate. Resisting a lawful arrest too can cause problems.
A DUI conviction can impact your life in a variety of ways. Understanding your obligations and entitlements during a stop can help you avoid mistakes that can worsen an already difficult situation. Seeking legal guidance right away after a stop that leads to an arrest is also wise.