What to Do if You’re Stopped for a DUI in California?

Most people who are pulled over for driving under the influence don’t expect it. When you got in the car after having a few drinks with friends, you often felt fine and looked fine, too. You might not have broken the law at all.

But based on how you talk to the police, you could still be arrested and charged with DUI. That’s why knowing what to do when you’re stopped is so important.

They Are Not Impartial

When the police pull you over, it’s because they already think you’ve done something wrong. Depending on how you drove, they might only think you were fast or they might already be looking into whether you were drunk. Even if they act like they are on your side, they are not. They want to get you in trouble.

This is the most important thing to know when you are pulled over by the cops.

How Should I Answer the Officer’s Questions?

Never tell a lie to the cops. If you were drinking, don’t say you weren’t. Instead, keep in mind that you don’t have to answer. You can kindly say that you don’t want to answer. The key is to be polite. Don’t make cops angry, and don’t treat them badly.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by cops and how to answer them:

“Do You Know Why I’ve Pulled You Over?”

The cop wants you to say something that will be used against you. The answer is, “No, officer, can you tell me?”

“How Many Drinks Have You Had?”

This question is a lead-in. They didn’t ask if you were drinking, but how much you were drinking. This is a trick to get you to say you’ve been drinking. Instead, say, “I’m sorry, officer, but what makes you think I’ve been drinking?”

“Have You Been Drinking Today?”

Most people try to hide the fact that they drink. They will say something like, “I had some wine with dinner a couple of hours ago.” It’s a trick.

You not only said you drank, but you also told them when and how much. Since you drank a few hours ago, some of the booze has already left your body. So the officer can think that you were even drunker when you were driving, no matter how high your BAC is when you are arrested and take a breath test.

Instead, say, “Officer, I’d rather not answer any questions. “Can I leave?”

What Else Should I Do or Not Do When the Police Pull Me Over?

Know what you can do. Here are some easy things you can do to keep yourself safe at a police stop:

Don’t Blow Into the PAS Breathalyzer

During the traffic stop, the cops might ask you to do a PAS test, which is a breathalyzer test. You don’t have to take this test unless you are under 21 or on DUI probation. Turn it down in a nice way.

(If you are caught for DUI, you will have to take a breath, blood, or urine test, and if you refuse, there will be consequences. Don’t refuse this test after being arrested.)

Refuse to Take the Field Sobriety Tests

The field sobriety tests (FSTs) are made to give the police more proof that you are drunk. Taking them won’t help your case in any way. People who aren’t drunk often fail these tests, but if you fail, it will be taken as proof that you were DUI. You have the right to politely say no.

Don’t Explain

The police will ask you why you won’t do the PAS or FST. You don’t need to say why. The more you say, the more they will be able to use against you. Just say, “I’d rather not,” and let it go at that.

Request A Lawyer

Police can get mean, say the same thing over and over, or even act like bullies. They could also act like they are on your side. If they keep asking you questions, just tell them you want to talk to an attorney and stop talking.

Remember that the more you talk, the more likely it is that you will say something that will be used against you. Most of the time, the police won’t tell you your Miranda rights until a long time after you’ve been arrested, but you still have the right to stay quiet. Say as little as possible and get in touch with a DUI lawyer right away.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject, I suggest checking out the following links:

Are you facing a DUI charge? We can put you in touch with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles and get you a FREE appointment. Call (310) 846-4058 or fill out the form on the right to get your free appointment today.

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