If an officer pulls you over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, it’s natural to have concerns. It doesn’t matter if you’re sober, only had one drink or are full-blown intoxicated, you never know what the process will bring and how it will end up.

There are steps you can take to protect your legal rights during a DUI traffic stop, including the following:

  • Respect the officer: Even if you feel that they’re wasting your time and trying to find something to arrest you for, you must maintain a high level of respect. The second you get out of line is the second your stop will take a turn for the worse.
  • Exercise your right to remain silent: It’s okay to answer some questions, but you don’t have to answer them all. If you don’t understand a question or feel that it could incriminate you, politely decline the officer’s request to answer.
  • Don’t consent to a search: Even if you don’t think you have anything to hide, you never know what the officer could find that lands you in trouble with the law. It’s best to decline the officer’s request.
  • Don’t lie: Some people neglect to remain quiet and neglect to tell the truth. Instead, they concoct a story in the hope that the officer will let them slide. They’ll see right through this, so don’t go down this path.
  • Don’t resist arrest: If the officer puts you under arrest for suspicion of DUI, comply with their request and follow directions closely. Your frustrations will have you wanting to scream and fight back, but doing so will only make things worse.

It’s easy to throw this advice out the window when you’re face to face with an officer. At that point, you’re trying to do whatever you can to avoid an arrest, which could lead you to make a mistake.

You need to remain calm as you take steps to protect your legal rights. If you’re still arrested, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’ll eventually have your day in court. It’s then that you can employ a defense strategy to have your charges dismissed, thus avoiding the consequences of a conviction.