Memphis, TN- There’s a good chance that if you drink and drive you are going to get pulled over. You probably know you’re in serious trouble, but there are things you can do when you are pulled over to minimize your charges or the possible penalties you face.
If you see the blue lights in your rearview, you are going to be nervous, it’s only natural, but you need to remain as calm as possible. Whatever you say and the actions you take while speaking to an officer will affect your future, so you need to be respectful and careful with your words.
After asking for your license, registration and proof of insurance, a police officer is going to ask: Have you been drinking? Or, how many drinks have you had tonight/today? What you say or don’t say next will dictate the direction of your stop, so you have to think clearly about what you say.
Firstly, you need to understand your rights. If you have been pulled over, you are being detained but are not under arrest yet. Even though you aren’t under arrest, you can’t leave until an officer releases you. And since you aren’t under arrest police have the right to ask you questions without reading your Miranda Rights and they expect you to answer them truthfully.
If you have been drinking and are worried about incriminating yourself: Don’t lie. Lying to a police officer will only make things worse. And, if you answer truthfully will most likely be arrested. One DUI defense attorney’s advice to readers of Forbes is to assert your Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Invoking the Fifth will most likely put an end to the questioning but won’t put the traffic stop itself to an end.
Next you will be asked submit to sobriety tests, but many motorists don’t know if they should agree. DUI defense attorneys in Tennessee are torn about this aspect of a DUI stop. On one hand, if you refuse a breathalyzer, you face being charged with a refusal which will result in your license being suspended for at least a year. A refusal charge is not nearly as serious as a DUI but it can have some troublesome consequences.
On the other hand, not refusing gives law enforcement more evidence that can be used to prosecute you. The results from breathalyzer or a blood test will give proof of intoxication. These test results can be challenged by an experienced attorney and you may avoid conviction.
When it comes to a sobriety tests, it’s sort of a losing situation if you are actually intoxicated. There are situations you would be better off refusing these tests. For instance, if you have a high blood alcohol concentration, you may be better off taking a refusal charge.
This advice is to help you mitigate the consequences of your stop and possible arrest NOT to encourage impaired driving. If you make this mistake, it is in your best interest to have a DUI attorney in Tennessee evaluate your case. USAttorneys can connect you with one in Memphis or other Tennessee location to assist you with your defense strategy.