We all know the adage: don’t drink and drive. Not only is it illegal, but it puts both you and other innocent drivers on the road in serious danger. With safe rides plentiful, it’s just not necessary. If you do, however, find yourself being pulled over under the influence, you should know what to do as well as what your rights are during this scary time.
- Pull Over Quickly and Safely
From the time a police officer decides to pull you over, they will begin making observations and documenting everything you do that can and will be used against you in court. From the moment you see a police officer’s flashing lights approaching, you will need to slow down and find a safe place to pull over as quickly as possible. After coming to a complete stop, make sure to put your car in park and turn the car off. Because officers are trained to be cautious when approaching a car, keep both hands on your steering wheel to indicate that you are complying. As always, roll down your window and hand the officer your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration.
- Use Your Manners
While good behavior may not get you out of a DUI charge, your actions will be noted in the police report and could help you in court. Remember to address the officer as “sir” or “ma’am” to show respect as being rude and hostile will certainly not work in your favor. Being polite, however, does not mean that you have to answer the police officer’s questions. The officer might ask you, “Have you been drinking?” or “Where have you been?” Simply answer, “I do not wish to answer any questions. Thank you.” Under Georgia’s Constitution, you have the right to not incriminate yourself, so stay quiet.
- Refuse the Field Sobriety and Preliminary Breath Tests
According to the recent changes to the Georgia DUI Law, refusing a field sobriety or preliminary breath test cannot be held against you in court. You are under no legal obligation to complete or comply with these tests. Even if you’ve only had a couple of drinks, a field sobriety test is subjective and during court, is often he said/she said. Hand-held breathalyzer tests are notoriously unreliable as well. When asked to take these tests, simply say “No, thank you.”
On the contrary, police will now need to obtain a warrant for blood or urine samples to prove alcohol level that will either be taken at a medical facility or the police station. While you will have to comply with these tests, often times it can take a while for this process.
- Stay Calm and Ask for an Attorney
If you are arrested, remember to stay calm and cooperate with the officer. Everything you say and do at this point can impact your case. Ask for an attorney and do not speak to the officer or answer any further questions while in the police car or at the station. After bail has been set, have a family member contact A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds and we will walk them through the process to get your second chance.
- Write Everything Down & Contact a Lawyer
The minute you are released from jail, take out a piece of paper and pen and write down everything that you can remember about the arrest and the circumstances leading up to it. This will help your attorney better prove your case by providing them with crucial details. If you need help finding a defense attorney, check out our blog, “Finding the Right Defense Attorney in a Crowd.”
As always, the best way to avoid a DUI conviction is to not drink and drive at all. Have fun but be safe out there! And, when you find that you need A 2nd Chance, call us!