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If a police offer has any reason to believe you’re driving under the influence, you can expect them to pull you to the side of the road to investigate. This is a stressful time in your life, as the last thing you need is a DUI arrest.

There are many key steps you can take if pulled over for suspicion of DUI. Do these things:

  • Move to safety and stay where you are: As soon as you realize that the officer is pulling you over, move to the side of the road and stay in your vehicle until told otherwise. This shows the officer that you’re acknowledging them.
  • Be courteous: You don’t have to go overboard, but it’s better to be courteous and respectful than to become upset and talk back. Don’t give the officer another reason to assume that you’re intoxicated.
  • Don’t say too much: Thanks to the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to remain silent. Even if the officer is pushing you for answers, don’t feel compelled to speak. You don’t want to say anything that could incriminate you.
  • Don’t exaggerate your story: For example, if you’re heading home from happy hour with your co-workers, don’t make up a story about where you were and how you never drink more than one alcoholic beverage while driving. You’re better off sticking to the basics, such as stating that you’re simply driving home.
  • Don’t resist arrest: If it comes to this, don’t resist the officer. Remain silent, follow direction and take good notes as to what the officer is saying and doing. When you resist arrest, it complicates things while also increasing the chance of additional criminal charges.

No two DUI traffic stops are the same, but anyone can follow these basic tips if they find themselves in this position.

If your traffic stop leads to an arrest and formal criminal charges of driving under the influence, learn more about the legal process to follow and how to protect your rights. The most important thing to remember is that a DUI charge is not the same as a conviction. There’s a defense strategy for every situation.