Call this direct line and speak with Rob immediately: (801) 363-8500
Utah DUI Attorney
It can happen to anyone. On any given evening, weekend, or holiday, police are out looking for drunk drivers. Even if you haven’t been drinking very much (or anything at all), you may still see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. So what should you do if pulled over? Should you comply or politely refuse the officer’s requests? Every case is different, but below are some tips to keep in mind.
Should you answer questions? And how specific should you be?
You are required to give your name, license, registration and insurance information to the police officer when asked to do so. There is really no benefit to withholding this information, anyway. But once the police officer starts asking questions about how much you have been drinking, you can politely refuse to answer the questions if you want to. If you’re sober and you feel confident answering questions, go ahead. But if you’ve been drinking and you’re unsure of whether you’re within the legal limit, know that saying “It is my understanding that I shouldn’t answer questions without first contacting an attorney” is better than lying or trying to fudge your answers. Remember that being arrested for refusing to answer questions is often better than confessing to something illegal or lying. A confession or being caught in a lie would almost certainly be used against you later on. Waiting to answer questions until a Salt Lake City DUI lawyer is present is generally your right under the law and is certainly your right if you’ve already been arrested.
Are field sobriety tests a good idea? Should you comply?
Most Utah DUI attorneys would tell you that you can (and perhaps should) refuse a request to perform field sobriety tests. They do not actually demonstrate accurately whether someone is intoxicated. Instead, they are an easy way for a police officer to subjectively determine that you are impaired and therefore ask you to submit to more rigorous testing (such as a breathalyzer) or arrest you for drunk driving. Refusing a test can result in suspension of your license, but it might still be better than the consequences of taking one and appearing intoxicated (even if you aren’t).
Taking or refusing a chemical test is a judgment call you must make for yourself. Many Utah DUI attorneys will tell you to refuse a roadside test but to take the test at the police station (either a breath test or a blood draw). If you strongly believe you are under the legal limit, it is probably a good idea to take the test and prove it. If you know or suspect you are drunk, however, it may be in your best interests to refuse the test. With that said, making this refusal may come at a cost. Your license could be suspended and/or you could face other consequences for failing to take a blood or breath test.
Always be polite and stay calm
Throughout the entire interaction with the police officer, one of the best things you can do is remain calm and be polite. Becoming belligerent or defensive will not help you avoid further suspicion, and it will likely inspire the officer to look for a reason to arrest you. It’s important to remember that the entire traffic stop is likely being recorded by a dashboard camera or a body camera, so your behavior during the stop could be viewed later in court. It is in your best interests to appear as cool-headed and sober as possible. Additionally, behaving in a polite, respectful manner will better ensure that you remain safe during your stop. If you don’t feel comfortable interacting with the officer on the scene, respectfully state that you’ll wait to answer questions until your experienced Utah DUI attorney from Rasmussen & Miner is present.