Seeing those blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror can be one of the most stressful things you have to deal with, and it’s considerably more stressful if you believe your being pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol or operating under the influence (OUI/DUI). If you ever find yourself in the situation, here are some very important points to keep in mind.
- First and foremost, remain calm.
At this point you don’t even know why the office is pulling you over and is no reason to create one in your head. At this point if you remain calm, you have a much better chance of being able to answer the officer’s questions without seeming too nervous.Be courteous and polite to the officer. You may not be thinking about it at this time, because you’re nervous, but the police officer is also nervous for their safety and there’s no reason to put them on edge.
- Never admit anything to a police officer.
If the officer is asking you if you’ve been drinking or if you are drunk, simply state that your attorney has advised you to not answer questions such as these, is asked by an officer of the law. Just like in the movies, anything you say or do can be held against you in a court of law.
- Do not take a field sobriety test.
The officer most likely request you get out of your car and you should do as you’re asked. When being asked to perform any type of field sobriety tests, your response should always be no, if you had anything to drink. The officer may not ask you in a way that makes you feel like he’s requesting, but the officer is in fact requesting in you do have the right to refuse any type of field sobriety tests. Field sobriety test range from standing on one leg, reciting the alphabet backwards, and walking a straight-line heel to toe. Do not perform any field sobriety tests.
- Do not take any form of breathalyzer test.
When you’re pulled over in the field or at the police station, always refuse a breathalyzer test. Remember at this point you most likely will be arrested for refusing, just the calm and cooperate with the officer. If you agree to take a breathalyzer test and fail, you receive a 30 day suspension of your license. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you receive a 180 day suspension. You may not feel this is a good trade-off, but if you need to take your case to trial or even negotiating a plea in court, it will dramatically increase your chances of getting the when you are looking for.
- The last step is to hire an attorney.
Do not attempt to handle one of these types of cases by yourself.
Just remember these simple facts when you’re being pulled over for drinking and driving, and remain calm.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723