Getting pulled over for a DUI is a stressful and serious situation, and you should know how to handle it properly to minimize the legal consequences and ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do if you find yourself in this predicament.
Pull over safely
Did you know that 13,384 people died in car accidents that involved alcohol in 2021? For this reason, law enforcement takes these traffic stops seriously. Therefore, when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, immediately find a safe, well-lit place and slowly pull over after you turn on your signal.
Stay calm and compliant
Turn off your engine and place your hands visible on the steering wheel. Do not make any sudden movements or reach for anything unless the officer instructs you to do so.
Remain calm and polite throughout the interaction and answer the officer’s questions, but avoid admitting guilt. When the officers ask you for your documents, provide your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
Field sobriety tests
If the officers suspect impairment, they may ask you to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. In many jurisdictions, police may also request a BAC test. Although you have the right to decline these tests, your refusal may lead to license suspension.
If you get arrested for a DUI, prepare for fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs and even jail time, depending on your prior history and the severity of the offense.
To avoid a DUI, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Prioritize your safety and that of others by calling for a ride or designating a driver at the beginning of the evening.