It’s Friday night in Erie, so you do what you always do. You change out of your work clothes and head over to the bar to hang out with the guys. You have a few drinks and a few laughs, and when happy hour ends, you call it a night. You hop in your car and head home. While you might feel perfectly capable of driving home after only a few drinks, it is possible that a police officer will not hold the same opinion. Especially if your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.
A driving under the influence (DUI) stop is not the way that anyone wants to start the weekend. Unfortunately, while we know that drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous and illegal, some people still make mistakes. If you are one of those people and you find yourself in a position where a police officer is pulling you over for a possible DUI, you may be wondering what you should do. Here are some tips on what to do during a DUI stop.
Pull over as soon as it’s safe
If you see the red and blue lights flashing in your rear view and you have had a few drinks, the first thing you should do is pull over as quickly as possible in a safe area. You should also stay in your car, put your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer to approach.
Use your manners when you talk to the officer. If you are belligerent in any way, this will only hurt your case and possibly land you in a whole heap of additional trouble. Stay calm and be respectful.
Invoke your rights
Remember, when talking to a law enforcement officer, you are not under any obligation to say anything that might incriminate you. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution allows you to remain silent so that you can avoid saying anything that the prosecution can use against you if you wind up in court.
Keep your answers short
When you talk to the police, do not volunteer any additional information. Try to keep your answers to “yes” and “no” when you can. In other words, do not tell the officer that you had just stopped by the bar to say hello to some friends and you only had a couple of beers. Being candid is not going to win you any points or get you out of a DUI. If anything, it might make things worse.
If an officer pulls you over for a suspected DUI, the above tips can help. Since a DUI conviction can have serious consequences, keep in mind that you still have certain rights and options if you are facing a drunk driving charge.