What do I do when stopped for DUI?

If you are stopped for DUI there are a few things you can do to prevent the officer and government from gathering and twisting evidence to use against you at a later time. First off, be respectful to the officer and do not say too much. Do not make any admissions or statements about how much you have had to drink. They have likely heard them all and anything you say (even if you say you’ve only had one beer) will be used to reaffirm the officer’s suspicion. Anything you tell the officer will likely be twisted and used against you later.

Once you are approached by an officer, be sure that you are able to easily retrieve all of your identifying documents (i.e. driver’s license, registration and insurance). Make sure you know where these documents are and that you keep them somewhere so you avoid fumbling for them. Previously, I represented a client (language barrier notwithstanding) handed the officer a bank deposit slip and a receipt.

You are probably thinking, “once I’m stopped, should I take the tests?” The answer is that you do not have to perform roadside sobriety tests. Chances are if the officer has already gone down that path with you during their initial contact with you that they already feel you are under the influence and you are likely to be arrested for DUI. Essentially, you will be giving the officer evidence to use against you. Even the most coordinated, sober person will have a hard time performing to “standards.” The bar is ridiculously high for taking these tests and being set free.

Lastly, you do not have to take the breath test. Refusing to take the breath test will result in your license being suspended for one year (if it’s your first refusal) but the officer cannot force you to take a breath test.