If you’re pulled over by the police late at night, there’s a good chance that they’re going to ask you if you’ve been drinking. That can be a difficult question to answer, especially if you’ve had one or two drinks but don’t feel like you’re so impaired that you can’t safely operate your vehicle.
You might feel like being honest with the police will make you look guilty, while lying to them will raise their suspicions. So, what are you to do in these situations? Let’s look at some of your options.
Don’t talk to the police
You have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination, so if you don’t want to talk to the police you don’t have to. In fact, if the police are going to place you under arrest and subject you to questioning, then they should advise you of your Miranda rights, which include your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. If you make incriminating statements without the police informing you of your Miranda rights when they’re required to do so, then you might be able to block those illegally obtained statements from being used against you.
Only share the information necessary to adequately communicate
If you don’t want to come across as completely silent, thereby potentially upsetting the police officer and giving them reason to believe that you have something to hide, then you can choose to interact with them just enough to give them basic information. This might include information about your name, where you live, and where you are driving to and from. But once questioning turns toward whether you’ve been drinking, you might want invoke your right to remain silent.
Ask to talk to an attorney
If you’re unsure of how to respond when you’re pulled over, you can always ask to talk to an attorney. Of course, if you’re not under arrest or being subjected to custodial interrogation, then the officer might question the need for an attorney to be present, but if you’re leaning towards contacting an attorney then you should probably go with your gut instinct. In these instances, it’s best to keep stay silent and deny any requests to search your vehicle until you can talk to your lawyer.
How can you defend yourself in your DUI case?
If you’re arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, then you’re going to have to carefully analyze the facts of your case to see what your best defense options are going to be. You might be able to challenge the validity of field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, and you might be able to draw the initial justification for your traffic stop into question. If you’re successful in any regard, then you might be able to suppress otherwise damaging evidence, which could set you on the path to case dismissal or acquittal.
If the evidence is unavoidable, though, and it seems insurmountable, then after assessing any evidentiary issues you might want to consider whether a plea bargain is right for you. Although this will lead to the imposition of penalties, they can be much less severe than those that were initially threatened.
Craft the legal strategy that’s right for you
The ramifications of a drunk driving conviction can be far reaching and long-lasting. With that in mind, you should do everything you can to protect your interests, starting with interacting properly during your initial traffic stop.