When you’re driving home and see the flashing lights of a police officer’s vehicle behind you, it can be very frustrating. You have to pull over for them, but you may not know what exactly they want.
If the officer approaches your vehicle and pulls you over, asks you to roll down your window and then starts to suspect that you’re driving while intoxicated, it’s important that you know which steps to take next. Here are three things to keep in mind.
- You don’t have to admit to drinking
The first thing to know is that you’re not obligated to admit if you’ve been drinking. Whether you’ve had a single drink or many, you don’t need to say or do anything that could lead to charges. If the officer asks where you’re going or where you’re coming from, you can speak generally and say you’re coming home from dinner or that you were just driving around.
- Be polite to the officer
The next thing to remember is that you should be polite to the officer. The nicer and more polite you are, the less likely the officer is to believe that you’re intoxicated. If you have your wits about you and are cooperative, you may not even end up getting a Breathalyzer test at all.
If you are asked to give a breath sample, it’s normally appropriate to take it.
- Refuse field sobriety tests
While a Breathalyzer test is allowed by law, field sobriety tests aren’t required. The officer may want you to submit to them to show that you can walk in a straight line or that you have good balance, but there are many reasons not to take these tests. They’re known for false positives, and they can be used as evidence against you. It’s better to avoid them.
If you’re arrested, get to know your rights
If you do get arrested for driving while impaired, you need to know your legal options. Don’t say or do anything that could make it appear that you’re impaired or resisting the situation. Don’t talk to the police. Ask for your attorney, and then you’ll learn more about how to proceed in a way that protects your rights.