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What to do if you get pulled over for DUI.

Of course, the best practice possible is to avoid drinking and driving all together..   However, when the best practices are not observed and an individual finds themselves being arrested for a DUI the following information can be helpful.

Quite often when our law firm gives seminars to the public about how to handle a DUI we ask the following question, “Are the police our friends”, to which we get various responses.   The correct answer is, “It depends on the situation”.    If one finds him/herself being robbed or assaulted then the police are your friends.  If one has been drinking and is being pulled over by a blue flashing light under the suspicion of impaired driving, the police will not be so friendly.

Firstly, after being pulled over, the police officer will ask you for your drivers license, proof of insurance, and for your registration.  You are required by law to provide these legal documents.   If the police officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, do your level best not to reply with a direct answer.  By all means remain polite and non-confrontational, but do NOT admit to guilt, and do not lie to the officer under any circumstances.   You could respond to the officer’s question with a question of your own, for example:

Police officer, “Sir, have you been drinking?”

Driver, “Excuse me officer, why did you pull me over?”

It’s critical to note here that you have 3 specific rights you need to invoke clearly.

The first is the 4th amendment which protects you against unlawful search and seizure.

The next is the 5th amendment which protects you against self incrimination and gives you the right to remain silent.  The last is the 6th amendment which gives you the right to have an attorney present when being questioned by law enforcement when you are in custody.

If the police officer asks you to step out of the car to complete a field sobriety test you have the right to REFUSE.   You also have the right to REFUSE the PAS side of the road breathalyzer test.   By the time the officer asks you to step out of the car you are most likely already going to be arrested.   The field sobriety tests serve only one purpose. It gives the officer an opportunity to gather more information to use against you.  When taken into custody and brought to the station you must submit to a breathalyzer test or a blood test or you will automatically lose your license for a year.   If there are no other chemicals in your system, a blood test is the best option and the most accurate.   If you have other chemicals in your system and you are suspected of drinking and driving, take the breathalyzer test.

Due to the 6th amendment, when being questioned by the police you have the right to have an attorney present.   He will best advise you about how to protect your rights.

In summary:

•Provide drivers license, proof of insurance, and registration when asked

•Do NOT admit guilt

•Do not lie

•You can refuse a field sobriety test.

•You can refuse a road side breathalyzer test

•You will most likely be arrested and taken to the Police department and charged with DUI

•If you have only been drinking alcohol and have no other chemicals in your system opt for the blood test

•Get a good attorney

Having the right information and representation can make the difference between being charged with a DUI and keeping your record clean.  Call us at Seneca Law Group (619) 630-8LAW, or visit our web site at

This blog article was republished with permission from the Seneca Law Group.  Visit the Seneca Law Group website to see other information blog articles at


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