Getting stopped for suspected DUI is nerve-wracking enough. You envision the potential consequences from incarceration, fines, losing your driver’s license and having tarnished personal and professional reputations.
But what you do immediately after the traffic stop also may determine your fate. You do not want to escalate the situation by making additional mistakes. The bottom line is that you must maintain your composure, which may help you avoid further legal problems.
Do not make incriminating statements
Here are some actions that you must avoid after a DUI-related traffic stop:
- Excessive talking: Be careful what you say, and do not share unnecessary information. Why? You do not want to incriminate yourself. When answering questions, keep them short, simple and to the point. Remember, in DUI arrests, arresting officers often do not read the Miranda warning.
- Failing to follow an arresting officer’s instructions: Obey what the officer’s instructions. When an officer orders you to stay in your car, do so. Do not leave your car. If the officer instructs you to place your hands where he or she can see them, do so. Do not make any sudden movements.
- Being a brash know-it-all regarding your legal rights: No one likes a know-it-all. Law enforcement officers should be well-versed in the laws of the state and do not want a lecture about legal rights from someone they have arrested. Doing so may lead to additional charges.
- Resisting arrest: Doing so will escalate the situation, potentially leading to physical injury and more serious criminal charges. Once again, listen to the arresting officer, but take note of how he or she treats you.
Please stay calm and do not say or do anything that can be viewed as hostile by a law enforcement officer.
Listen closely, follow instructions
You made an initial mistake that led to an arrest on a DUI charge. Please avoid any actions that may make things worse. Listen closely to what the arresting officer tells you and follow those instructions.