Driving Under the Influence: 5 Ways to Protect Yourself If You’re Pulled Over

The best way to avoid getting charged with driving under the influence is to not drink and drive. However, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re being pulled over or arrested on DUI charges, it’s important to know what steps to take to ensure yourself the best possible outcome. Many people essentially convict themselves by not taking basic legal precautions for self-protection.

In these cases, a DUI defense attorney can have huge effects on determining eventual charges. If you’re in need of a capable and qualified defense attorney in the Ocean City, Maryland area, don’t wait; contact the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn for proven expertise with reliable results.

If you’re just looking for knowledge of what steps to take to protect yourself in the case of a suspected DUI, familiarize yourself with the following list of five things to do if you’re pulled over:

1. Pull over quickly and safely.

In cases of suspected DUI, police officers begin making observations before your engine is even off. If a police car signals for you to pull over, find a safe place to do so and then take the keys out of the ignition. Remove any hood, hat, or glasses and place your hands on the wheel. Don’t get out of your car.

2. Speak calmly and politely.

The initial interaction with a police officer can set the tone for the entire experience, and in some cases can even determine whether or not an individual will be arrested. When speaking with the officer, be respectful. Avoid aggression or swearing, and don’t try to joke, flatter, or charm your way out of the situation. Remember, everything is being observed. If the officer makes a request (e.g. to step out of the car), comply promptly.

3. Don’t provide any unnecessary information.

When answering questions, address only that which is directly asked of you. Candor won’t help you in these cases, so don’t offer any extra information about where you’ve been, who you were with, etc. Don’t admit to drinking, even a small amount, and do not lie under any circumstances.

You do have the provision of the 5th Amendment, which protects you from self-incriminating. So if answering a question would implicate you significantly in any way, you can choose to remain silent.

4. In most cases, refuse the field sobriety and hand-held breathalyzer tests.

Unless you’re absolutely sure you can pass, in most instances it’s wise to refuse these tests. The field sobriety test is subjective and may have little correlation to actual intoxication levels, and you’re under no obligation to agree to it. A refusal will not result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Breathalyzer results are similarly inaccurate as results can be skewed. Simply explain that you’ve received legal advice never to submit to these examinations.

Note that if you are arrested and then taken to a police station, most states have mandatory testing there that you must comply with.

5. Call a DUI defense attorney.

Even if you follow all of these steps, there is still a significant chance that you will be arrested. This can be a scary experience, but the most important thing you can do is stay calm and call an attorney.

A highly-qualified attorney can leverage their specialized experience and understanding of the law to provide you with the best possible outcome. They can also provide you with crucial information and answers throughout a stressful process.

In the Ocean City, Maryland area, there’s no better option for a DUI attorney than the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn. Contact us today for a free consultation, so you can give yourself the best chances for success.