You made a decision to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks. You may have felt sober enough to drive or felt like you wouldn’t run into any cops on your drive. But now there are flashing red lights behind you. What should you do?

Whether the officer pulled you over for a minor traffic violation or for suspicion of drunk driving, you should first remain calm. Your reaction when pulled over can determine what charges you face. Here are a few tips for what to do when police pull you over for a possible DUI:

  • Pull over – Slow down, turn on your emergency lights and find a safe spot to pull over. Running from the police could increase any possible charges.
  • Wait for the officer – Don’t try to leave the vehicle or make any suspicious movements. Find your license and proof insurance. Then sit in the seat with your hands on the wheel.
  • Be respectful – The officer will ask to see your license and insurance and will ask you some questions. Be respectful and courteous when answering.
  • Don’t talk yourself into an arrest – Don’t argue with the officer or try to weasel your way out of trouble. The more you talk, the more evidence an officer has to build a charge against you.
  • Understand your rights – The officer may ask you to perform a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer test or a blood test if he or she suspects you of driving under the influence. While refusing to submit to testing can result in an automatic revocation of your license, refusing also gives the officer less evidence with which to charge you for a DUI.

If the officer arrests you for a DUI, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you reduce or refute charges. A lawyer may also be able to help you get your license back if police revoked it.

A DUI is a serious charge in Illinois. If you make a mistake and choose to drive after drinking, make sure you understand what to do if a police officer pulls you over.