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Navigating a DUI Stop: Steps to Protect Yourself

Encountering the alarming sight of red and blue lights in your rearview mirror can be an unsettling experience, particularly if you’ve consumed alcohol. During those crucial moments before an officer approaches your vehicle, maintaining your composure and being prepared is essential to safeguard your rights in the event of DUI charges. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

Step One: Pull Over Safely

As soon as you realize you’re being pursued by a police officer who may suspect you’re intoxicated, it’s crucial to remain calm. Pull over to the side of the road safely. Use your turn signal and avoid sudden braking, as officers may interpret these actions as signs of intoxication. Turn on your interior light, lower your car window and position your hands on the steering wheel.

Step Two: Gather Your Documents

The next step is to locate your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information. This seemingly simple task is also a test – the officer will observe your actions closely. Suppose you struggle to find these documents or appear flustered while doing so. In that case, the officer may interpret it as a potential sign of intoxication. Be prepared for the officer to start questioning you during this process. Remember that your statements are being recorded through the officer’s microphone.

Step Three: Field Sobriety Tests

You may be asked to undergo field sobriety tests. Contrary to what the officer might imply, you are not obligated to take these tests and can politely refuse without fearing a driver’s license suspension. While the officer may not appreciate your refusal, it is within your rights. If you choose to take the tests, inform the officer of any physical ailments or conditions that might affect your performance. Delaying this information until afterward may make it appear you’re making excuses.

Step Four: Potential Arrest

Suppose the officer remains dissatisfied with your performance during field sobriety tests or your refusal. In that case, you may face arrest on suspicion of DUI. Once arrested, it’s crucial to refrain from further conversations with the officer. Even if you are left alone inside the police car, remember that you are under constant surveillance and being recorded. Follow instructions and be prepared for a breathalyzer or blood test, which you can refuse, but be aware that it may result in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Suppose you find yourself facing drunk driving charges in Denver or Colorado. In that case, your best course of action is to seek the assistance of an experienced team of Colorado DUI defense attorneys who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights effectively. At Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, we specialize in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses, providing the legal expertise to navigate these complex situations.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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