This post is written for the benefit of those who are not currently facing a prosecution for drunk driving. If you are looking at an upcoming Court case this article will do little to assist your defense. However, for anyone is interested in knowing the best way to interact with a police officer if you are pulled over and had been drinking earlier in the night, this article is right up your alley. Very rarely does a lawyer give free advice on fighting a DUI but this information can help you to avoid being arrested in the first place, or if you are, significantly improve your chances of beating the case in Court. Here is what you need to know:
1. The Red Lights in Your Mirror
You see the lights in your rear view mirror and begin to panic, don't, you should keep your cool and not show signs of nervousness. Excessive nervousness or furtive movements will only make the situation worse. Slow down and Find a safe place to pull over, if the officer is directing you over a loud speaker, follow those directions. Once you are stopped begin to collect your essential documents ( proof of insurance, license and registration) so that you have them ready and do not have to fumble with them while the officer is hovering over you. Caution: if your documents are not readily available do not panic. The last thing you want to do is begin moving about the vehicle looking as though you may be trying to hide something or reach for a weapon. Some believe it is best to not make any movements while the officer is approaching for fear that the cop may believe you are reaching for a weapon.
2. Initial Face to Face Contact
Once the officer is at your window this is where your actions can determine if the contact escalates into a full blown DUI investigation or you are simply warned, written a ticket and sent on your way. Law enforcement is trained to look for "cues" to indicate a person is impaired by alcohol or drugs. This observation begins when they immediately see you and lasts throughout the contact. Cues can includes seemingly innocuous behavior but when viewed in the totality of the circumstances can become quite incriminating in a Court of law.