What To Do If You Have Been Stopped For A Traffic Violation And Have Had A Few Drinks
It all starts when you see the police lights in your rear-view mirror and they are for you. You pull over to the side of the road and reach for your license, registration, and proof of insurance while waiting for the officer to come to your window. As the officer leans down to ask for your documentation you ask if there is something wrong and he smells alcohol on your breath. As you are asked to step out of the car, questions about what to do start to run through your mind. Here are some tips as to how you should proceed:
Do What the Police Ask
The most important things you need to do is to follow the police instructions. However, you do not have to answer any questions, and it might be best if you don't. Consider how much you have had to drink. If it is only a drink or two, and they were a while ago, you can say so to the officer when asked if you have been drinking. However, if you have had more than that, or finished the last drink just before getting into the car you can politely tell him you are not comfortable answering that without an attorney present. In either case, be prepared to be asked to perform a breathalyzer test. You may refuse this, but it could cost you your license to do so, even if you would have passed it.
Ask for an Attorney
If you are taken into custody, the first thing to do is ask to make a phone call and call someone who will be able to find a DUI attorney for you. If you have been cooperating, the police may allow you to use your cell phone to make the call immediately. If not, it will have to wait until you are at the police station. Make sure the person you talk to calls a lawyer experienced in DUI charges. This will give you the best chance of having the charges reduced or dropped so you are released to return home.
DUI attorneys know what to look for and how to find discrepancies in the evidence against you. They also understand how to talk with the prosecutors and/or judges to prove you do not deserve to go to prison. Do not think you can do all the talking yourself and end up home anytime soon. A DUI is a serious charge and requires legal counsel regardless of your guilt or innocence.