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What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for DUI

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Sep 06, 2017

It is a scary thing being pulled over by the police, and most people are so terrified that they cooperate and are honest with the authorities about everything. Collaborating with the police is a good idea because driving is a privilege and not a right. Therefore the police have a lot of power out on the road, and if you do not cooperate with them, they can cause you many problems.

You could be arrested and taken into custody, you could lose your driver's license for one year (if you refuse to take a blood or breath test), and you could end up with a criminal record.

Cooperate with Police

Hence the number one thing you should do is cooperate with the police once you pull over. By the way, people who are intoxicated have a hard time following the instructions of the police, and this is one of the factors they are evaluating in deciding whether or not to arrest you and whether or not you are safe on the road.

With all of the above on the line and your reputation, time, money, and embarrassment, it makes sense to cooperate with them and hopefully avoid some or all of the worst consequences that can come along with a DUI arrest and conviction.

All that being said, let's not go too far in our cooperation! One thing I do not recommend is admitting that you were drinking alcohol. Most people tell the police that they had two drinks, regardless of how many they had.

So when the police hear this, they do not say, “Oh, if you only had two drinks, then head on down the road and apologize.” When they listen to you have been drinking, it is a green light for them to thoroughly investigate you and try and obtain probable cause to arrest you and convict you of a DUI. So it would help if you cooperated but did not wholly give them everything they needed to take you to jail.

Also, be aware that the police will be trying to smell your breath and your person when you roll down your window. They smell for alcohol, and if they smell it, you are likely to be ordered out of your car and have to take all of their DUI tests.

If this happens then, your best bet is to cooperate and hope that you are sober enough to pass the tests, or they take pity on you and do not arrest you. If they decide to stop you and ask you to take one of the tests, then my advice is to cooperate and pick one of the tests.

If you do not take one of the tests, you are looking at losing your driver's license for a year on your first offense. If you take the test and are at or over the .08, you will lose your request for thirty days and have restricted permission for five months after that to drive to and from work and to and from your alcohol program.

This is a vast difference in punishment and not worth the risk on a first-time DUI. Also, by refusing to take a blood or breath test, you make it easy for the prosecutors to prove a DUI case against you.

If everyone refused to take a blood or breath test, no one would be caught for a DUI. Therefore, the law is clear that if you refuse to take one of the tests, it will be presumed that you were DUI unless you can bring evidence to rebut the presumption.

How To Avoid The Big Problem in a DUI Pull Over

The most significant problem people run into regarding a DUI stop is that they have not planned. In other words, if you know you are going out and may have some alcoholic drinks, have an exit strategy in place, so you avoid potential contact with the police when you are not at your best.

Those who do not plan are the same people who swerve around on the road right in front of the police, are belligerent to them when pulled over, and can not complete all of the field sobriety tests that come along with being suspected of drinking and driving.

The moral of the story is the more that you can prepare before you start drinking, the better off you will be and the better chance you will have to avoid a conviction for a DUI in Los Angeles.

As I have read thousands of police reports over the past 25 years of defending DUI cases, I see all of the things people do when they think they are going to compete for the police out once they are being pulled over.

The problem is that the police are trained to spot a DUI and come into the situation stone-cold sober. On the other hand, most people pulled over for a DUI are intoxicated, scared, unprepared, and do not have all of their wits about them because of the situation.

Therefore, my best advice is to prepare your exit strategy before you start drinking. If you find yourself being pulled over under dire circumstances, try and be calm, cooperate with the police, do not panic, and do not admit you were drinking.

Signs Police Are Looking For In a DUI Stop

There are several frequent patterns that I see related to DUI cases. First and foremost, most people are pulled over for a DUI on the weekends between 12 am, and 3 am.

So if you are on the road at this time, except that the police will pull you over, unfortunately, even though it is illegal to pull someone over just because you think they may have been drinking because of the time of night, the police do it anyways.

And, they make up an excuse to justify their actions which is difficult to refute. Also, I often see people just doing stupid stuff in front of the cops. Driving too fast, swerving, being involved in road rage, or driving too slow is just making it easy for the police to catch you.

Most of the stuff related to the DUI case is common sense. If you are unfortunate enough to have been arrested, seek the advice of a professional and let them guide you through the process.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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