Drinking and driving is a serious offense, one that will cost you your license. If you have been drinking, and you are stopped by the police, it’s important that you follow an unwritten set of rules that may help you in more ways than one.
Before we begin, though, we think that the first thing you can do to not get pulled over for DUI, is to not drink and drive. It’s really that simple. It can save you money, headaches, and allow you to keep your license.
Just remember: no amount of alcohol is safe to drive on. If you plan to drink, have a designated driver to handle the driving responsibility. That way, you’ll stand no chance of having legal problems.
10 rules to follow if you get pulled over for a DUI in Santa Clara County:
- Pull over as soon as you see the flashing lights, and do it the correct way. Use your turn signal and slowly move towards the right of the road.
- Do not exit your car. Remain seated and let the officer come to you. Turn on your interior lights and keep your seat belt fastened and your hands one the wheel. This sets a good start for the interaction.
- Remain calm and don’t act like you’ve committed a crime. Avoid any activity that makes you look suspicious. Do not attempt to destroy or hide anything. This could lead to having your vehicle searched.
- Listen and follow every request of the officer. This sets up a good report with the officer in charge.
- Only speak when asked a direct question, and always watch what you say and how you say it. Answer any questions directed specifically to you and about your situation, but do not be disrespectful, and let the officer do his job.
- Remember that every word and action you commit is likely recorded. Police officers wear microphones (and now sometimes cameras), and every police car is fitted with a camera. Never think for one second that something you say will go unnoticed or un-recorded.
- Remember honesty is the best policy, but avoid specifics in regards to amounts consumed. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, so even if you have had “just a few,” there is no means to discern this visibly (and you may not even be over the legal limit anyway). Simply answer that you do not recall. Eliminate incriminating evidence.
- While you may not want to, do not refuse a BAC test. This can hurt you later, and it’s best to simply submit.
- If the field sobriety test is involuntary, it won’t hurt your case to refuse it, especially if you have had very little alcohol. On the other hand, if it is compulsory, take it.
- Don’t be afraid to verify the officer’s credentials if you have doubt about who they are. Ask to speak to their supervisor if the officer is in plain clothes, and refuse to comply if they can not produce identifiable credentials like a badge.
After the fact, if arrested, call a DUI attorney immediately. Do not speak about the case. Do not admit guilt. Do not incriminate yourself. Keep it simple and ask to speak to your attorney.Back to DUI Practice Area