It’s your worst nightmare. You’ve been drinking, and the cops pull you over. You hand them your license and registration, and they want to know if you are intoxicated. If that officer thinks that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need to know what to do to protect yourself. Fortunately, you are not required by law to give them a response to their inquiries. Never tell them anything. All that information can be used to help prove your guilt. Here are some other tips to help you get through a traffic stop for a suspected DUI.
1. Don’t Speak
Officers tend to ask interrogating questions to get you to tell them what they need. Your blood level may not be past the legal limit, but your nerves can make you slur or stumble over your words. In Chicago, the officer cannot arrest you for sitting in silence. Silence is often the best answer as the officer cannot testify that you slurred your words at the traffic stop. You will not be charged with refusing to speak or answer interrogating questions from the police.
2. Don’t Get Out Of Your Car
Rule number two is to never get out of a car during a traffic stop. Officers have a hard job these days, and they put their life on the line. If you get out of the car without them explicitly asking you to, then they can see it as a threat. They have no clue whether you have a gun, knife, or could charge them. Plus, it may give the officer the wrong idea about you. Remember, they want to protect themselves at all costs. Stay in the car and cooperate with all their requests.
3. You Can Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are done at the traffic stop to check your balance and coordination. They are done on the side of the road, which further difficult things. The chemical tests are not the same. Most people cannot pass these tests while they are sober. If a person has a condition that causes balance disturbances or shaking, the officer can document that you failed the test when in fact you did not.
Most states, including Illinois, do not require you to submit to these examinations. You cannot get in trouble for refusing road sobriety tests. These tests are all subjective to the officer’s opinion. All they do is further the case against you. There is no reason to incriminate yourself in a silly roadside stunt that will do more harm than good.
4. Understand Implied Consent Law
Police officers use a breathalyzer to determine the blood alcohol level of a suspected driver. Though this seems like a more accurate way to measure intoxication, the accuracy is still suspect. These machines do not always provide correct information. When you get a driver’s license, you automatically sing a waiver that you will submit to chemical testing. This means that a police officer can request that you take blood, urine, or breath tests.
They cannot make you do roadside sobriety tests, but they can make you take a blood alcohol examination. You can be put in jail or have your registration revoked for refusing to submit to any chemical testing.
5. Ask For A Blood Test
A blood test is by far the most accurate way to check your blood alcohol level. If you ever drink and get behind the wheel, you must know the laws. One drink can put you over the legal blood alcohol level. To better understand the rules, speaking with a DUI attorney in the Chicago area can help. Because you could lose your license or face jail time, you need legal representation. Because of its accuracy, you should never refuse a blood test.
If you have been arrested, you need legal help. A lawyer can have your chemical testing suppressed. Because these tests are fallible, they can damage your case. Having a competent attorney on your side can means everything. It can be the difference between jail time and freedom. The last thing you need is criminal charges on your record.