When the police pull you over for any reason, it is in your best interest to be respectful and cooperative to prevent making the situation turn south. However, it is also in your best interest to know when you have to do as an officer asks and when you have no legal duty to obey.
One of the most important times to know the difference is when you are at a DUI stop for the first time. The police will likely ask you to take one or more tests. What you agree to do will affect what happens next, so be aware of how to react to avoid incriminating yourself.
What to do
There are some things you definitely should do to keep the interaction civil and prevent further tickets or charges. Show required documentation and be polite yet firm if you refuse to answer any questions or comply with any requests. If you get arrested, ask to speak to an attorney.
What not to do
There are some things you have no obligation to fulfill. For example, you do not have to answer any incriminating questions, such as:
- Have you consumed alcohol?
- How much alcohol have you consumed?
- Where were you last or where are you going?
Neither do you have to take a breath test, or any other. However, refusing to do so will result in an automatic one-year suspension of your license. If you take a test and are over the legal BAC, it also leads to an automatic suspension but only for six months. It also provides evidence to make it easier to prosecute you.
Still, an experienced attorney can cast doubt on the test’s validity due to factors such as the reliability of roadside tests, other substances you put in your mouth and any medical conditions you may have. Whether you choose to take the test or not, hire a DUI lawyer to help you with your case.