What Should I Do When I Get Pulled Over For A DUI?Published: Sep 19, 2016 by Erika Valcarcel
It is nerve-wracking and intimidating to be pulled over by the police. You probably don’t know exactly what to do or say. But there is a way to get through the experience smoothly and unscathed. If you were pulled over and arrested for a DUI, call Erika Valcarcel at (941) 363-7900 to learn how she can defend you.
What Should I Do When I Get Pulled Over For a DUI?
Keep in mind that when the police pull you over because of suspected drunk driving, they don’t know what they are going to encounter. They don’t know who you are or how you normally react to this type of situation. The police will approach you with caution and you should do what you can to reassure them that you are not a threat to their safety. You should also:
- Turn on the dome light and place your hands on the wheel. If you are stopped at night, the police will have a harder time seeing your actions and what’s going on in the car. Make it easy for them by turning on the dome light as they approach and keeping your hands visible on the steering wheel.
- Identify yourself. The police will usually ask for your name, ID, and proof of insurance first. You are required by law to identify yourself. The best way to proceed is to calmly gather the cards and give them to the officer to review.
- Do not answer other questions. After identifying yourself, you are not legally required to answer any more questions. Seemingly simple questions like “where have you been?” and “where are you going?” can be used to gather evidence supporting a DUI. If you do not wish to answer, simply state that you are choosing not to answer the questions without an attorney present.
- Do not argue. You have the option to remain silent or to cooperate with the police officer’s questions, but do not argue with them. Arguing with the police can be construed as aggression and make the police fear for their safety.
- Exit your car only when asked. If you are asked to step out of the vehicle, you must do so. Never try to get out of the car during a stop if you aren’t asked to do so.
- Accept a portable breath test. Under Florida’s implied consent laws, you agree to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI. If you refuse a breath test and are lawfully arrested, you could have your driver’s license suspended. In most situations, it is simply not helpful to refuse.
- Do not consent to a vehicle search. The police can search your car without permission if they have probable cause to do so. If the police ask if they can look in your car, glove box, or trunk, it means they do not have enough evidence to do so without asking. Do not give the permission to look through your car without them obtaining a valid warrant first.
- Ask if you’re free to go. If you are not sure whether you are being detained or arrested, you have the right to ask if you are free to go. The police can say no, but if they continue to keep you longer without placing you under arrest, you should ask again.
- If you’re arrested, call an attorney immediately. If you are pulled over for a DUI, it is likely that you will be placed under arrest. Once you are taken to jail and booked, you must be given the opportunity to contact and attorney or contact a friend or family member who can do so. You should ask for a lawyer right away and not answer any questions until you have a lawyer present.
Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. for Help Today
If you were arrested for a DUI, speak with Sarasota DUI lawyer Erika Valcarcel right away. She has years of experience in representing individuals like you who have been accused of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. She understands how scary it can be to be pulled over by the cops and if you weren’t sure how to act or what to say, you may have made things worse for yourself. If your DUI stop didn’t go well, you might think the prosecutors have an open and shut case against you. But the truth is that you may be able to overcome these obstacles and achieve a good outcome in your case.