The sight of police lights in your rearview mirror is enough to scare you straight. Furthermore, if you soon find that the officer is coming after you, your hands may begin to sweat and your stomach could tie-up in knots.
But this is no time to freak out. By taking the right steps at the right time, you increase the likelihood of avoiding trouble and moving forward with your day or evening.
Here are the most important things to do if you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI:
- Safely pull to the side of the road: After turning on your hazard lights, safely pull to the side of the road and wait for the officer to approach your window. No matter what you do, don’t attempt to evade police or stop and get out of your vehicle.
- Be polite to the officer: There are a lot of things you can do to complicate the situation, including cursing at the officer, talking back and/or disobeying orders. All of these things give the officer reason to believe you’re under the influence.
- Think before you speak: Remember, your 5th Amendment rights protect you from incriminating yourself. If you don’t want to answer a question or provide a statement, you’re under no legal obligation to do so.
- Stick to the basics: The more you talk, the more likely it is that you’ll say something that incriminates you. Also, there’s never a good time to make up an elaborate story or tell an obvious lie. This only gives the officer reason to dig around more.
- Stay calm if you’re arrested: At this point, there’s nothing you can do to stop the officer from taking you to a local station for processing. You’re best off staying calm, keeping quiet and taking mental notes about everything that’s happening around you.
By taking these steps, you’ll find it easier to protect your legal rights if you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI.
After you’re processed and released, it’s time to collect the necessary information pertaining to your arrest and learn more about how the legal process will unfold in Illinois. There are things you can do during this time to position yourself to prevent a conviction and associated consequences.