It is a scary thing being pulled over by the police and most people are so terrified that they just cooperate and are honest with the authorities about everything. I think cooperating 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 drivers license for one year (if you refuse to take a blood or breath test), and you could end up with a criminal record.
Hence the number one thing you should do is cooperate with the police once they have you pulled 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, lets 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 actually 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 hear you have been drinking it is a green light for them to fully investigate you and try and obtain probable cause to arrest you and convict you of a dui. So you should cooperate, but not completely give them everything they need 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 are smelling for alcohol and if they smell it then you are likely going 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 do decide to arrest you and they 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 then you are looking at losing your drivers license for a year on your first offense. If you take the test and you are at or over the .08 then you are will lose your license for thirty days and have a restricted license for 5 months after that, to drive to and from work and to and from your alcohol program. This is a huge 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 very easy for the prosecutors to prove a dui case against you. If everyone refused to take a blood or breath test, they no one would be caught for a dui. Therefore, the law is clear that if you refuse to take one of the tests, they it will be presumed that you where dui unless you can bring evidence to rebut the presumption.
The biggest problem that people run into regarding a dui stop is that they have not planned ahead. 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 a potential contact with the police when you are not at your best. Those people who do not plan ahead are the same people that swerve around on the road right in front of the police, are belligerent to them when they are pulled over and can not successfully 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 past 25 years of defending dui cases, I see all of the things people do when they think they are going to out smart the police once they are being pulled over. The problem is that the police are trained to spot duis and they are coming into the situation stone cold sober. On the other hand, most people who are 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 to you is to prepare your exit strategy before you start drinking and if you find yourself being pulled over under bad circumstances, try and be calm, cooperate with the police, do not panic and do not admit you were drinking.
There are a number of frequent patterns that I see related to dui cases. First and foremost, most people are pulled over for duis on the weekends between 12 am and 3 am. So if you are on the road at this time, expect 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 just make up an excuse to justify their actions which is difficult to refute. Also, many times I see people just doing stupid stuff in front of the cops. Driving too fact, swerving, being involved in road rage or driving too slow are just making it easy for the police to catch you.
Most of the stuff related to 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.