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What you should do if pulled over for DUI suspicion

Being pulled over with the flashing lights of a police car behind you can be a stressful situation to be in. How to handle yourself can be extremely important. You may be presented with several circumstances where knowing your rights can help you. Since being prepared can be an advantage, here are some things to keep in mind that can protect you if you are pulled over and the officer suspects DUI.

Be prepared even before the officer gets to the car

The officer will ask for your license and proof of insurance, possibly even for your car registration. If you can, try to have this information ready even before the officer gets to your car so you are not fumbling around looking for it. If it is dark, turn on a light inside your car. Have the window down and your hands on the wheel when the officer gets to your car.

Be courteous

This is not the time to show frustration or act aggravated because you feel you are being inconvenienced. The officer is performing their job and is not purposely trying to ruin your day. One thing an officer usually looks for is rude or aggressive behavior as a sign of intoxication.

Questions and Answers

The officer will have questions for you, there is no reason to abruptly be the first to speak and ask why you were pulled over. Answer any questions you receive honestly and succinctly. At some point you may be asked if you have been drinking. You are not required to answer this question. If you have not drank at all, simply answer no. If you have had alcohol, do not lie to the officer. Staying quiet is allowed.

Taking sobriety tests

One of the first actions a police officer may take in determining if you may be under the influence is to ask you to participate in field sobriety tests. These tests can range from walking on a straight line to touching a finger to your nose with your eyes closed. You have every right to refuse these types of tests. You also cannot be punished in any way for your refusal. The officer at this point may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. Since Georgia is an implied consent state, you are required to participate in this type of test. However, you do not need to take the test using the portable breathalyzer device the officer will have during the stop. The test can be taken at the police station or possibly at a local hospital. Refusing a test can cost you your license for up to one year.

If you are pulled over and have a conversation with a police officer, you should handle the encounter by being courteous and helpful. Just know that you are not required to answer questions or participate in DUI tests during the stop. You may want to handle chemical tests and answering questions with a lawyer present while at the police station.

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