I’ve just been pulled over and given a DUI. Now what?

We all know that drinking and driving is never a good idea. But, as it goes, we all know many things that we don’t always adhere to. Mistakes and misunderstandings happen. Unforeseen circumstances pop up and we make split-second decisions that sometimes lead to negative consequences. Before getting into the legal ramifications or the “what to do” of a DUI situation, take this moment to remember that you should never drive a vehicle while intoxicated. However, mistakes happen. Let’s take a look at the best practices to employ when being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence.

1. Find a safe place to pull over:

It’s critical to remember that police officers are trained to observe every aspect of your behavior, and that includes the way you pull to the side of the road. If you make erratic movements, choose an unsafe location, or panic and slam on your brakes suddenly, it will be noted and potentially used against you.

2. Be polite:

This should be obvious, but officers are human beings that respond better to manners and respect, just like you. Keep this in mind as you begin your interaction with them.

3. Don’t answer incriminating questions and don’t lie:

Knowing that you will likely be in a state of heightened anxiety, police officers use this fact to ask you difficult, tricky, or incriminating questions. It’s what they’re trained to do. Keep this in mind, and also keep in mind your right to not answer anything that feels incriminating.

4. Refuse a field sobriety test:

There is no legal requirement to consent to a field sobriety test. In fact, these tests are a completely subjective way of an officer gathering evidence against you. Don’t give them this opportunity.

5. Consenting to alcohol tests:

Consenting to alcohol tests depends on whether you have a prior DUI conviction or prior refusal to submit to a test. If you do not have a prior, do not provide law enforcement with potentially incriminating by submitting to an alcohol test. Be aware, refusal does give law enforcement the ability to suspend your driver’s license for 6 months.

6. Write down everything you remember about the arrest:

The more facts you can remember about the moment of your arrest, how the officer acted toward you, and any other details you can come up with, the easier it will be for your lawyer to build a case against your charges. Include things like:

  • Where you were traveling to and from.
  • When you were pulled over.
  • Why you were pulled over.
  • Where you were pulled over.
  • How the officer behaved and any instructions they gave you.
  • What you said to the officer.

Write down everything that you can think of, even if it doesn’t strike you as relevant.

7. Contact legal counsel:

With all these steps in place, find qualified legal counsel that is well versed in DUI law. This is the single most important thing you can do to protect your constitutional rights.

If you have been given a DUI and need a Missoula DUI Lawyer, call us at 406-721-6655.

We are standing by.

Contact us today to start a conversation.

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