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Stopped by a cop? You don’t have to admit to drinking

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2021 | OUI

When you see the flashing lights of a police vehicle behind you, you will probably stop as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to do so, because your actions may influence how that traffic stop is handled by the officer.

Initially, an officer may have stopped your for any kind of traffic violation, such as crossing the center line or failing to stop at a stop sign. Once you’re stopped, the officer could ask you questions. If they ask you if you had a drink, then that’s when you need to start thinking about how your answers could incriminate you.

What should you do if an officer asks you if you’ve had a drink tonight?

You might initially think that it’s better for you to be honest if an officer asks if you’ve been drinking, but it’s actually better to refuse to answer that question. If you admit to having even one drink, then you could be providing evidence to the officer that they could use later to support a drunk driving charge.

It’s important to refuse to answer the question politely. Then, if the officer wants to seek a Breathalyzer test, they can do so. Remember that refusing a Breathalyzer test is likely to immediately result in a suspension of your license, so unless you believe that your blood alcohol concentration is far above the aggravated limit, it’s usually a good idea to take the test. You can always argue against the results at another time.

What happens if you are arrested for a DUI?

If you are arrested, the next thing you’ll want to do is to look into speaking with your attorney before you answer any questions for the police. While you can give information such as your license, name and age to the police, other topics, like what you were doing or if you knew you were intoxicated, should be off-limits until you have time to speak with your attorney and work out a solid defense. Your attorney can help you understand more about your rights, so that you don’t make a mistake that would hurt your chances of getting this DUI charge dropped or reduced.