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The Rules for Getting Stopped by Police

Seeing the flashing lights of a Ventura County police vehicle in your rearview mirror can cause anyone to panic. What should you do when faced with the possibility of getting arrested for driving under the influence? Fortunately, there are several ways to protect yourself against a potential DUI charge.

The following are six rules for getting stopped by law enforcement:

  • Stay calm. Locate a safe spot to pull off the road by using your turn signal and pull over slowly. Any signs of erratic driving or sudden movements might be noted as a sign of intoxication.
  • Be polite. As soon as the police officer approaches your window, greet him or her in a courteous manner. Do not act nervous since it could imply that you are guilty of something. When asked, give the officer your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Keep in mind, law enforcement officials will continue to observe you and how you perform these tasks.
  • Only answer the required questions. The only information you are required to provide is your name, driver’s license, and proof of insurance. You do not have to answer questions like, “Have you been drinking?” or “What were you doing tonight?” While you cannot lie, you have the ability to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
  • Refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. While these tests are designed to test balance and coordination, many people cannot pass them—even if they haven’t been drinking. The results are subjective and used to gather evidence against you, so it is wise not to take part in them. But remember to decline politely.
  • Understand the implied consent law. When you obtain a driver’s license, you automatically consent to chemical testing by a police officer if you are arrested for DUI. Refusing to perform a breathalyzer or blood test will result in suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Write down any relevant information. When it comes to obtaining a favorable outcome, it may come down to the details. Ensure that you write down the arrest time, location, and the reason the officer pulled you over. Furthermore, jot down any questions you recall the officer asking, whether or not field sobriety tests or chemical tests were administered, and any other details. Only provide this report to your attorney, so he or she can build an effective and personalized defense strategy to dismiss your case.

If you were recently charged with a DUI in Ventura County, request a free consultation with The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers today.