Getting pulled over for DUI is a very stressful experience. Knowing how to handle it can make a HUGE difference. Follow along for the essential steps to take in protecting yourself. Being informed and prepared can protect your rights and help you make intelligent decisions .
1: BE CALM, pull over in a safe location.
When you see an officer’s flashing lights, direct your attention to the road. Find a safe spot to pull over. Be sure to use your turn signal. Pull at least a foot off the paved surface. Turn on your caution flasher after you come to a complete stop. .
2: PREPARE TO SPEAK TO THE OFFICER with all documents he’ll want.
Turn on your interior lights. Roll down ALL windows immediately to eliminate any lingering odors. Before he arrives at your window, have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance in your hand. If you have had any alcohol/drugs, you don’t want the officer to assume you are intoxicated. Relieve him of that anxiety by using toothpaste or peanut butter to cover the odor of alcohol or marijuana.
3: Keep Your Hands Visible
Place your hands on the steering wheel. RELAX. Avoid making sudden movements and prepare to hand the officer your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance before he asks for them.
4: Be Polite and Cooperative, but DO NOT TALK a lot.
Provide requested documents promptly. He will attempt to divide your attention by asking you questions while you search for documents or information from you. Keep conversation to a minimum. NEVER admit to any alcohol or drug (even prescription) consumption. You have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. Do not tell him that you have been to a bar, poolhall or out to dinner where alcohol is served. Again, BE POLITE!
5: Know Your Rights
Everything you say can be used against you in court. The officer is going to try to engage you in conversation. He wants to listen to you slurring your words or not being able to answer questions properly and logically. DO NOT TALK a lot.
6: Prepare for Field Sobriety Tests
Should the officer detect indicia of intoxication, he will ask you to join him at the rear of your car. He will step back and watch your exit from your car closely to see if you stumble or hold on to the car for balance. He will watch your balance as you walk. He will see if you follow his instructions as to where to stand. Then he will offer for you to take Field Sobriety Tests. These tests are voluntary and he MUST advise you of that. The tests include the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, or horizontal gaze nystagmus. NEVER TAKE THESE TESTS. Don’t let the cop bully you into doing something that is voluntary. Never voluntarily participate in a test that could get you arrested because you don’t have good balance. Don’t be afraid of the arrest. It is a conviction in court that follows you for the rest of your life. Give me the tools I need to defend you
7: Portable Breath Test (PBT)
In Colorado, the officer will request that you voluntarily take a portable breath test. He will tell you they cannot use it in court. What he won’t tell you is that if the tests show you are over the limit that he can use the results as probable cause to arrest you. Never voluntarily participate in a voluntary test that could get you arrested. Refuse to take this test.
8: Express Consent Advisement
Following your arrest (putting you into handcuffs) the officer is required to advise you of Colorado’s Express Consent Law. He will tell you that by the act of driving you have already given your consent to a test of your breath or blood if an officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Refusing these tests will result in license suspension. It’s crucial to understand Colorado’s specific laws regarding these tests.
9: Express Consent Affidavit and NOTICE OF REVOCATION
You will receive this document if you take a breath test and fail OR if you refuse testing. Should you receive this document call Shipp Law (24/7 hours a day) at (970)927-2255 to find out about your requirement to CALL DMV ‘within 8 days’ to request a DMV hearing
10: Request an Attorney at time of arrest and again at every opportunity.
If you’re arrested for DUI (you have been handcuffed), request an attorney. Your right to legal representation becomes active only after the arrest. You do not have the right to an attorney before choosing breath or blood testing. Do not answer any questions without your attorney present other than which test to choose.
11: Post-Arrest Procedures
After arrest, you may be taken to the police station or a medical facility for chemical (blood) testing. Police may ask to interrogate you. If they do, they are required to give you a Miranda advisement. DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS, other than name and address.
Cooperation is essential during blood draws, especially signing a medical release for blood testing. Go ahead and sign the blood release
12: Hire an Experienced DUI Trial Attorney. CALL Shipp-Law at (970) 925-2255.
To protect your rights and build a strong defense, consult with an experienced local DUI attorney that you are exceeding comfortable talking to. They can guide you through the legal process and work to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Knowing how to react when pulled over for suspected DUI can help protect your rights and future. By remaining composed, well-informed, and cooperative, you can navigate this challenging situation effectively. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, consult with a skilled trial attorney to ensure the best possible defense.