Getting pulled over for driving under the influence is a serious matter.
To protect yourself and others on the road, you should know how to handle this situation.
Pull over safely
It may surprise you to learn that 13,384 people died in car accidents involving alcohol in 2021, so the police remain vigilant about searching for those who appear intoxicated. Therefore, when you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you, pull over to the side of the road safely and promptly. Use your turn signal and find a well-lit and safe location to pull over. Once you have pulled over, remain calm and keep your hands on the steering wheel, and avoid making sudden movements or reaching for anything until the officer instructs you to do so.
Be polite and respectful
Treat the officers with respect and courtesy, such as addressing them as “Officer” or “Sir/Ma’am” and answering their questions honestly and clearly. Cooperating can make the situation less stressful.
Consider sobriety tests
The officers may ask you to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. They may also ask you to take a breath test or a blood test to measure your blood alcohol concentration. In most states, refusing these tests can result in penalties like license suspension.
Know your rights
Learn your rights, especially your right to remain silent when police ask you questions that could result in DUI charges. Although you should provide basic identification and documents, you can choose not to answer incriminating questions. If you get arrested, you have the right to contact a trusted friend or family member.
To prevent DUI stops and charges, designate a driver or call a cab or ride-share company if you have consumed alcohol.