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How To Handle A Police DUI Stop
It's very obvious but it has to said, the safest and best way to deal with being stopped by police on suspicion of drunk driving is to have zero blood alcohol content. In other words, don't drink at all anytime before driving.
In the real world normal people will sometimes drive after drinking very responsibly and moderately. But if you have had even just one or two drinks it is possible to be charged with DUI. If you are stopped on suspicion of DUI there are some things you can do to minimize your risk of being charged or convicted of this serious crime.
Maybe you have a burned out tail light or you swerved a little to avoid an animal on the road, for whatever reason the police have found an excuse to stop you. What do you do now?
Be Ready to be Stopped
First you need to be prepared. Always have all of your vehicle documentation organized an in an easily accessible place. You don't want to fumbling around through your glove box looking documents or trying to sort old documents from current ones while the police officer waits. This may irritate the officer and may be construed as a sign of impairment.
Avoid Causing Alarm
Routine traffic stops can be dangerous for police officers in America. Do not cause alarm. Turn on your interior light, roll down your window and keep your hands on the steering wheel where they can be seen. The officer will feel safer and be less prone to treat you in an aggressive manner.
Be Courteous But Make No Admissions
The police officer will likely ask you if you have consumed any alcohol. If you admit to having had even one drink he or she now has all the excuse needed to administer a blood alcohol test. Simply return the question with one of your own. You might ask why he or she is asking you this question or if the officer would like to see your documents. Be polite.
Remember, you are not required to give any information beyond what is shown on your drivers license. Do not be drawn into a conversation about where you have been or what you've been doing.
Do Not Perform Roadside Tests
If the police officer asks you to get out of the car you must do so but you do not have to perform any "sobriety" tests such as walking on a line or touching your nose with both hands. If you fail one of these tests, and you surely will since the police officer is the judge, then you will be required to take a chemical blood alcohol test.
The Bottom Line, Avoid the BAC
In most states there are severe penalties for refusing a chemical blood alcohol test. However, the police must have "reasonable suspicion" that you are impaired before they can ask you to submit to a BAC test. If the police ask you to perform a BAC test without that "reasonable suspicion" then you will have a strong defense your DUI lawyer can use if the case goes to court.
Aggression on your part, the seemingly innocent questions police may ask and physical roadside "sobriety" tests can all give the police officer the excuse needed to perform a BAC. Don't give them a reason.
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