5 Tips When Being Pulled Over or Dealing With a DUIPublished: Aug 15, 2016, by in Criminal Defense, DUI, Legal Blog
Being pulled over for a DUI can be scary. If you have little or no experience with the police, you might be intimidated by the officer approaching your window. There are many ways this situation can go, but there’s no need for anyone to be hurt or become aggressive. When you know the best way to behave and you understand your rights in the situation, a traffic stop – even for something as serious as a DUI – can go smoothly.
If you were arrested for a DUI, contact a Chicago DUI defense lawyer with O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706 to learn how we can help you.
5 Tips for When You Are Pulled Over
A traffic stop is never fun, but it can be a smooth process. There’s no need for it to be a terrifying experience. Keep these 5 tips in mind if you are ever pulled over:
Pull over to a safe place as soon as possible. When you see flashing lights behind you, the best thing to do is turn on your hazard lights or turn signal to let the police know you see them, and then slowly pull over to a safe spot. You want to make sure that you and the police cars will be out of the way of traffic on the shoulder or a side street. Do not continue to drive for a large distance or speed away.
Turn off your car, switch on the dome light, roll down the window, and put your hands on the wheel. When the police stop a vehicle, they don’t know what they are going to encounter. They are typically concerned for their own safety. Certain steps show that you are cooperating with the stop and that you aren’t a threat to officers. Turn off your car to show you won’t flee. If it is night time or dark and you can easily turn on the dome light, you should do so. This lets the police see you and your actions better. The more they can see you, the less likely they are to misinterpret your movements. As the police approach the car, roll down the window and make sure your hands are firmly on the steering wheel so they know you aren’t trying to hide or reach for anything.
Explain your movements. Traffic stops generally begin with the officer asking for your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. When you need to move your hands from the wheel, tell the officers what you are about to do. Say something like, “I’m going to take my wallet out of my back pocket to get my license,” or “I’m going to open my glove compartment for my insurance card.” If you are asked to get out of the car, you should do so. Tell the officer that you are moving hands to unbuckle your seat or open the door.
Speak calmly and carefully. If you have been pulled over and the police suspect you of a DUI, remain calm. If you become agitated, the officers will worry for their own safety, which can escalate the situation. Your dignity may be hurt at this point, but don’t raise your voice or argue with the officers. In a calm and clear voice, answer the questions or inform them that you are invoking your right to silence. Do not admit anything, particularly drinking. Saying more than you need to can look like an admission and be used against you later in court.
Call a lawyer. As soon as you are able, call an attorney or a family member and ask them to get you a lawyer. Most traffic stops for a DUI are routine, and when you are calm, polite, and know your rights, there is no reason for anything to go wrong. You might not be happy if you’ve been arrested, but there are many defenses to fight a DUI. If you have questions about your DUI traffic stop and arrest, contact a Chicago DUI defense lawyer with O’Meara Law at 312-909-0706.