“Have you been drinking?”

dui patrols

It’s always best to not drive when you drink. Everyone knows to get a designated driver or call a cab. It is important to be responsible, but it is also important to understand your rights.

When you are pulled over and suspected of a DUI, what questions are you legally required to answer?

You should always be respectful and cooperate with police officers, but you can be polite without giving up your rights. Remember, they are there to protect you, but they are also gathering evidence they can use against you. When they ask to see your license and registration, you are required to give it to them. You need to answer all questions regarding your identification. But when the officer starts asking questions like, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “How much have you had to drink tonight?” you no longer are required to answer.

So how do you nicely tell him it’s none of his business?

It’s simple enough to tell him that you would not like to answer any more questions at this time. The police have to have probable cause (the smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, etc.) to take it further at that point. If he pushes the issue, simply tell him you would like to speak to a DUI attorney before saying anything more.

What if the officer does decide he needs to do more investigating and asks you to step out for some sobriety tests? Did you know that these tests are optional? They are also not very accurate. Some field sobriety tests could be challenge to people even when they are sober. A simple, “No thank you,” will suffice.

Let’s talk for a moment about the breathalyzer. You may be asked to take this test, but did you know you can decline the field breathalyzer test? If the officer goes on to arrest you and take you to his station, you would then be required by the DMV to take the breathalyzer, but before that you can choose to say no. Be sure to also request that your attorney be present during the test if you do end up making that trip.

A DUI conviction can change your life quickly and dramatically. Drive safely, be smart, but also be sure you understand your rights so you can protect yourself and your future. Learn more about DUI from our DUI Defense page.

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