What to Say to the Cop Who Pulls You Over for DUI
You have been pulled over, and a police officer approaches your window. You roll it down and the first thing the officer asks you is if you have been drinking. The way that you answer could have a great impact on not only the way you are treated, but on the outcome of your case should you be arrested and go to court. Many people ask us how they should respond to this question. The best option will depend on your unique situation.
When you are stopped by the police for any reason, including suspicion of drunk driving, you have the option of remaining silent. The United States Constitution protects your right to not incriminate yourself. If you are asked by a police officer if you have been drinking, your answer should be something along the lines of, “I prefer not to say.” You can also ask for an attorney, but a police officer may not allow you to call for legal representation until you have actually been arrested.
A police officer has the right to certain information, including your name, birthdate and other information on your license. Outside of this information, you have to provide nothing else. When you decide to refrain from answering any questions, you should be careful of not complying with other requests. For example, you can hand over your driver’s license without speaking. Even making small talk with the officer can lead you down a slippery slope. If you are determined not to incriminate yourself, not saying anything at all is in your best interest.
If, on the other hand, you decide to be honest, you can tell the officer that you have only had one or two drinks if that is a true statement. If you admit to drinking, you should also tell the officer what time you had your first drink and your second, provided there was an hour in between them. Keep in mind, though, that this type of admission is likely to cause the officer to request that you take a field sobriety test. The officer will probably also ask you to submit to testing of your blood alcohol concentration.
When you decide what you are going to do when you have been pulled over, lying should not be it. If you know that you have had several drinks, have had drinks close together, or are too impaired to drive, choose the option of remaining silent. One of the worst things you can do for your case is to lie to the police or be disrespectful.
If you have been arrested for DUI in DeKalb County, reach out to Hawkins Spizman Fortas for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your arrest and advise you of your legal options. Call our experienced DUI team today.