Being pulled over by police can happen unexpectedly, even if you aren't aware of any traffic violations you committed. Depending on the time of day you are driving and how aggressive police may be at the time, an officer may look for any reason to pull you over.
If you are pulled over, be aware that the police are very observant of your behavior. They may look for indicators that you may be driving drunk. Below, we have outlined what exactly police look for during traffic stops and actions you can take to minimize your chances of being convicted of a DUI.
What should I do during a routine traffic stop?
- Remain calm: When an officer approaches your car, remain calm, roll down the window, keep your hands on the steering wheel, and provide your driver's license and registration when asked to do so. If you show any signs of nervousness, this could raise suspicions and potentially lead to further questions.
- Keep answers short: If a police officer asks any questions, your answers should never go beyond a simple "yes sir/maam" or "no sir/maam." If you're asked where you are coming from or how much you had to drink, you can remain silent. Anything you tell a police officer during a traffic stop can later be used to convict you in court.
- Be polite: If an officer is rude or has an attitude, it may be tempting to want to snap back. However, doing so could lead to an arrest. It's best to brush off the officer's attitude and be as polite as possible. This can help de-escalate a situation and possibly put the officer at ease.
- Refuse a field sobriety exercise: You are under no obligation to take a field sobriety test in Florida. Doing so can actually be harmful since the results can be used against you. You can simply refuse a field sobriety test without facing any legal consequences.
What if the officer doesn't let me off?
If an officer suspects that you are driving drunk, you may be asked to take a breath test. Technically, you can refuse a breath test, but doing so is illegal under Florida's implied consent law. You could face a one-year driver's license suspension and possibly go to jail.
Taking a breath test and failing it doesn't mean that you will be convicted of a DUI. Breath tests are often inaccurate and the results they produce can be inadmissible in court.
Should you be arrested and charged with a DUI, your best bet is to remain silent and speak to an experienced Florida DUI defense attorney. If you admit to any wrongdoing, or even insinuate any wrongdoing, you could be convicted.
Contact our Clay County law firm if you were arrested and charged with DUI
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI, contact Aguilar & Sieron, P.A. to discuss the details surrounding your arrest and to set up an initial case evaluation. We serve clients in Clay County and throughout northeast Florida. We handle a wide range of DUI charges, drug charges and other criminal defense cases.