This time people travel near and far to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Along with a significant increase in traffic on the roadways, the holidays also bring an increased law enforcement presence. Celebrating coupled with more police on the streets means your odds of getting stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) during the holidays also goes up. If you do get pulled over for DUI, a Murfreesboro DUI attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains what you should – and should not – do.
- Pull over! This may seem like an obvious first step, but people get scared and hesitate to pull over as soon as it is safe. If you hesitate to stop, a law enforcement officer immediately gets more suspicious. Moreover, your hesitation may be taken as an attempt to flee which could lead to additional criminal charges at best. At worse, it could put your safety at risk. If you are concerned that it is not a legitimate law enforcement officer behind you, pull into a public location and stop and/or call 9-1-1 on your cell phone to verify the vehicle’s identity.
- Be respectful. Even if you do not think the officer had a valid reason to stop you, be respectful to avoid exacerbating the situation. Have your license, registration, and proof of insurance ready to hand to the officer. You can ask the officer why you were stopped; however, do not do so in a confrontational manner. Most of the time, police officers are just doing their job so there is no need for you to make the situation worse than it already is.
- Do not exit the vehicle unless you are told to do so. The officer may eventually direct you to exist the vehicle to conduct field sobriety tests; however, wait until told to exit. Getting out of the vehicle on your own will make the officer nervous (which is never a good idea) because they cannot control you once you are outside the vehicle.
- Answer questions carefully. Especially during the holidays, the officer will likely ask if you’ve been drinking. If you did drink prior to driving, you may not be sure how to answer. Lying to a police officer is never a good idea; however, answering truthfully is likely to get you arrested. Deflecting or evading the question may work – but don’t count on it.
- Do not agree to the field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests (FSTs) are used to help an officer determine if a motorist is driving under the influence. FSTs are difficult to understand and successfully complete even when you are completely sober. Moreover, whether you pass, or fail is a subjective decision made by the officer which increases the likelihood you will fail. The results cannot be used in court but can be used as probable cause to arrest you. As such, there is no benefit to taking the tests if you have been drinking.
- Do not answer potentially incriminating questions without an attorney present. Basic, identifying questions can be answered; however, if you are concerned about where the questions are going, just politely tell the officer you wish to speak to your lawyer before answering questions. It is your right to consult with a lawyer first, but you must assert that right.
- Consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Being charged with DUI isn’t the same as being convicted of DUI. You may have a viable defense that can avoid a conviction. Consult with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Contact a Murfreesboro DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Tennessee, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. In Tennessee contact a Murfreesboro DUI attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby to discuss your legal options. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.