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How Should You Respond to Questions During a DUI Stop?

Everyone who’s ever been stopped for driving under the influence knows the feeling—you see the flashing lights behind you, get that sinking feeling in your stomach, and wonder how you are supposed to handle this. Unfortunately, the way most people handle DUI traffic stops is wrong. It gives the cops way more information than they need and gives them everything they need to arrest you.

Learn more about how to handle questions at DUI stops, and if you’ve been arrested for impaired driving, don’t wait any longer to get the help you need. Call Holcomb & Russell at 228-206-5843 and set up a consultation.

Being Chatty and Friendly Doesn’t Work—Drop That Strategy

How do most people handle DUI traffic stops? They decide to play it cool, friendly, and nonchalant. After all, if you answer the cops honestly and pretend you have nothing to hide, it’s all good—right?

That’s not how it works. Giving the cops any more information than you must is a fast path to getting arrested and having all of your words used against you. “I had a drink or two at dinner” becomes “suspect admitted to drinking before getting in the car.” “I came from the restaurant up the road” becomes “suspect came from an establishment that serves alcohol.” Answering their questions openly and honestly becomes “suspect is unusually friendly and chatty.”

You need to be polite, to the point, and truthful—nothing more.

Be Ready to Provide Your Basic Information

You will need to provide the cops with certain information. They’ll want to see your license, registration, and car insurance. They may ask for your name, address, and Social Security number. Beyond that, you don’t need to answer their questions, and doing so can put you in danger of helping them.

Don’t Answer Anything You Don’t Have To

Cops have a lot of questions they’ll use to get answers out of suspects. They might ask:

  • Where are you coming from?
  • Do you know why I stopped you?
  • Would you mind stepping out of the car so we can test your sobriety?
  • Could we search your car?
  • How much alcohol have you had to drink tonight?
  • Where are you headed?

These all seem like fairly innocuous questions. But each one you answer helps the cops build a case against you. If they ask a yes/no question, don’t lie—so if you have been drinking, don’t tell them you haven’t been. However, you can say “I prefer not to answer that question.” The same is true if they ask an open-ended question, such as “How much alcohol have you had to drink tonight?”

If they ask if you know why they stopped you, tell them no. This is one of those questions that just make their jobs easier—if you tell them something you did wrong, they can tack that onto the list of citations they’ll give you.

What about when they ask you to do field sobriety tests or allow them to search your car? You can politely decline both. Field sobriety tests are optional and never help you. They can only hurt you. If they genuinely have reason to search your car, they can get a search warrant and do it that way.

Be Polite but Assert Your Rights

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should get rude and aggressive with the police. You can assert your rights without antagonizing them and getting on their bad side.

However, you should be ready to contact a lawyer. If they are digging for evidence, they may continue to look until they have cause to arrest you. If that happens, do not answer anything without an attorney. That’s the best way to fight your charges and protect yourself.

Call Holcomb & Russell If You’ve Been Arrested for Driving Under the Influence

You’ve been arrested for driving under the influence—what next? You have options, so don’t give up yet. It’s time to talk to the team at Holcomb & Russell and find out how we can help you. We’re committed to protecting your rights and fighting for your future. Get our help now by calling us at 228-206-5843 or filling out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.

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