What You Must Know If You Are

Stopped for DUI/DWI

If you are arrested...

How to handle the DUI stop? First, stay in your car unless the officer asks you to step out and if you have your seat belt on, leave it on! Second, know the following:

Provide Identification

The officer will ask for your driver's license and registration. How easily you find these items will be noted on the officer's report. If you fumble around for them, it will look like you've had too much to drink.

Be Polite

Courtesy and politeness go a long way. Be your best self and make a good impression. If you do get charged it's better that the officer's report says you were polite and calm. A bad attitude can be an indication of alcohol use.

Refuse Field Tests

Say no thank you to walking the line, touching your finger to your nose, counting on your fingers, saying ABCs, holding your leg up while counting and HGN (follow a light with your eyes). It's all evidence against you.

Take the Alcohol Test

If you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year, even if you are not convicted of DUI. If the result is greater than .08%, your license may be suspended for 30-90 days.

Say No to a Search

"You don't mind if I look in your car, do you?" and questions like it require one response: "I won't agree to a search." Say no--politely, but firmly--and don't explain. Hopefully your refusal will be noted in the report.

Don't Answer Questions

Other than name and address, don't give answers about where you were, what you were drinking, etc. Whether or not your Miranda rights were read to you, keep quiet. Answers you give will incriminate you.

Ask for an Attorney

"I want to speak to an attorney" are the magic words that stop any questioning and preserve your rights. Even if you don't have an attorney, your right to one is protected and a violation can result in a dismissal of your case.

Handle a Jail Threat

An officer might say that if you refuse field tests or questions you will be taken to jail. Don't give in. Either the officer is bluffing or was planning to take you to jail all along. After processing you will be promptly released.

Continue reading: What To Do If You Are Arrested