DUI Do's and Don'ts

  • DO pull over immediately, in a reasonably safe location, when you see that the officer has activated his emergency lights.

  • DO use your turn signal when you are pulling over.  This is an indication that you are not mentally impaired by alcohol.  Park appropriately and avoid hitting the curb.

  • DO prepare your license, registration, and proof of insurance before the officer approaches the window.  If he requests the documents, and you fumble with them as you are handing them over, he will take this as an indicator of impaired fine motor skills.

  • DO address the officer as Sir or Ma?am.  Politeness and respect go  a long way and if you are rude it will only hurt your case.

  • DO politely decline to perform the battery of field sobriety tests.  They are completely voluntary, and it is unlikely that the officer will inform you of this fact.  Try not to argue about it, just be courteous and decline to perform them.

  • DO obey the officer?s reasonable commands.  If you are uncooperative or combative, it will only make a bad situation worse.

  • DO demand to speak to an attorney once you are placed under arrest.  Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney can do wonders for your case.  Other attorneys may not have the knowledge to effectively contest a DUI charge, so hire one that knows how to handle these complex cases.

  • DON?T take the roadside breath test.  These testing machines produce unreliable results and even though they are not admissible in court, they can give the officer probable cause to place you under arrest.

  • DON?T admit to having anything to drink that night.  Telling the officer that you had ?one or two beers? does nothing but hurt your case.  It can also give the officer cause to arrest you.

  • DON?T try to talk your way out of the situation.  Arguing over why you were stopped only serves to aggravate the police officer.  Plus, unreasonable reactions or anger can be indications of impairment.  Just be polite and try to keep quiet.

  • DON?T speak your mind about the officer or his decision to arrest you.  Many times the officer has a microphone on and a video camera that records every moment of the stop.  Some police cruisers have microphones in the back seat, so don?t think you?re not being recorded just because the officer is still outside of his vehicle.  Keep your thoughts to yourself.

  • DON?T speak to the officer on the way to the police station.  They will document everything you say, whether your speech was slurred, and the odor of alcoholic beverages on your breath.