Philadelphia’s NBC 10 News recently broke a story about the newly elected Policy Director for Delaware’s Lieutenant Governor: The 26-year-old man was charged with DUI and other traffic violations when he was involved in a collision with another car. Delaware State Police said the incident occurred at a four-way intersection, where the man drove his vehicle through a stop sign and was struck by a 55-year-old man driving a 2003 Honda. The accused alleges that he has grounds to fight the drunk driving charges, but the strength of his defense will depend in part on what he did – and didn’t do – after being pulled over for DUI.
As soon as you see lights flashing, pull over to the side of the road in a secure area. Avoid erratic maneuvers or disrupting traffic around you, especially any movements that may result in an additional traffic offense.
Many times, an officer will presume that you’ve been drinking simply by your level of anxiety. You’re required to present your driver’s license, and to provide your vehicle registration, and insurance information. Keep control over your nerves and hand over these documents calmly.
Other than the basic information mentioned above, you don’t have to volunteer any other details in response to questioning from an officer. When asked about where you’ve been, what you were doing, or where you’re going, the best response is to state: “Officer, I’ve been advised to not answer any questions.” Your responses to these inquiries may incriminate you, so it’s best to avoid replying.
Even if you’re angry or frustrated, now isn’t the time to vent. Be civil to the officers who pull you over for DUI, and show them the respect they deserve. You risk making things worse if you become belligerent or argumentative.
Many motorists assume that they’re required to submit a breathalyzer test when they’re pulled over for DUI. However, this preliminary, informal test is not mandatory. It should not be confused with the comprehensive blood, breath, or urine test administered at the police station. Only those tests given under controlled circumstances would be conclusive proof of your BAC.
Even if you fail to follow some of these tips on what to do if you’re pulled over for drunk driving, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty of DUI. A prosecutor must prove the essentials of the case, and you do have options for presenting evidence in your defense. When you consider the harsh penalties of a conviction for DUI, you can see the importance of hiring an attorney with in-depth knowledge and experience in these types of cases. For more information on how to defend against drunk driving charges, please contact the West Chester, PA offices of the Skinner Law Firm. Our skilled DUI lawyers are happy to answer your questions and help develop a strategy to fight for your rights.