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What to do if an Officer Suspects that You are Driving Drunk

Unfortunately, being pulled over is a risk of being on the roads. When people see the flashing lights behind them, they generally hope that those lights are meant for a vehicle somewhere ahead of them. When they realize that the lights are meant for them, they often wonder what to do.

There are a few important points that people need to remember if they are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence. Failure to prepare for this possibility can make a motorist's life more difficult later on.

Stay in the Car

The first question many people ask is whether or not they should get out of the car. Many people even have an emotional rush to explain that they weren't doing anything wrong and might jump out of the car reactively. This is a bad decision because the officer is in a vulnerable position when they approach the vehicle from behind. They cannot see what the person is doing in the car and the last thing they want to see is someone jump out of the car unexpectedly. Stay in the car if pulled over. Better yet, place the hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them. This will let the officer know that they aren't in danger when they approach the stopped vehicle.

Be Polite to the Officer

The police departments all over the country have been in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately; however, this doesn't give anyone the right to treat police officers with disrespect and it certainly won't help the case. In addition to keeping the hands on the steering wheel, do not curse at the police and follow the officer's instructions. While being pulled over is always a scary experience, being respectful to the police officers is a good idea. This will keep them happy and they might even be in a generous mood that day.

Don't Forget the Ability to Invoke Fifth Amendment Rights

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution gives people the right to remain quiet and avoid self-incrimination. Essentially, if an officer begins to ask you questions and you are unsure if you should answer them, you have a right to remain silent until your attorney arrives.

If the question sounds like it doesn't have a right answer or if an answer may be interpreted as an admission of guilt, it is appropriate to refuse to answer it. Actually, you have the right to refuse to answer any question until your attorney is present if you so choose. However, remember to politely decline. Do not curse or swear at the officer, simply state that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain quiet until your attorney arrives.

Anyone who has been pulled over on the suspicion of drunk driving should contact an experienced legal professional for guidance. The stakes are high and the punishments are potentially severe for those who are ultimately convicted of a DUI. Therefore, everyone should invest in the best defense that they possibly can.

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