What To Do If You’re Stopped For Drunk Driving
- When you see “blue lights,” activate your turn signal and safely pull over to the side of the road or nearest parking area. Do not stop in the middle of the road or make sudden movements with your vehicle. Stay calm.
- Place both hands on the steering wheel in plain view. If stopped at night, turn on your vehicle’s interior lights. Police officers need to see that you do not pose a threat to them, and your interaction will be better if you eliminate this potential issue.
- When asked, “how much have you had to drink,” politely and respectfully decline to answer until you have spoken with a DUI lawyer. Remember, you are NOT required to answer any incriminating questions. But, be polite. The police are there to do a job.
- When asked to get out of the vehicle, do so promptly and keep your hands visible at all times. Again, keep the police officer at relative ease.
- When instructed that you will be performing certain “roadside” or “field sobriety tests,” again politely and respectfully decline until you have spoken with a DUI attorney. As with all other inquiries, you are NOT required to participate in these tests. At this point, you will probably be arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, placed in handcuffs, and put in the back of the patrol car.
- Once put in the back of the patrol car, you will most likely be videotaped or recorded during the ride to the police station. Look outside the window and do NOT talk. Any statements made can and will be used against you later in Court.
- Upon arrival at the police station, you will be taken for Breathalyzer testing. Again, politely and respectfully decline until you have spoken with a DUI lawyer. As before, you are NOT required to take these tests. Your driving privileges will be suspended, but restricted licenses are available so that you can get to work, school, or medical appointments. Also remember that you are being videotaped at this stage, so be very careful what you say and do.
- Once processed and placed in jail, the next step will be a “bond hearing” at which point a monetary amount will be assessed to get out of jail. We recommend you use a “bail bondsman” so that you pay only 10% – 15% of any required bond. Do NOT pay the full bond. You’re going to need money to hire an experienced DUI attorney and get a restricted license.
- Most people get into trouble on weekends and holidays when it is usually very difficult to contact a lawyer. Look for firms that advertise mobile phone numbers. Also, look for DUI lawyers who have real trial experience. You don’t want inexperience here. A DUI conviction has both immediate and long-term effects on your permanent record.
- Always drink responsibly and have a designated driver. The goal is to get home safe and sound. But if you do make a mistake, we are not here to judge you. We are here to help. Call us and let’s get started.
At Reeves, Aiken & Hightower LLP, our attorneys have over 70 years of combined trial experience in both civil and criminal courts. We focus our criminal practice on DUI and DWI cases in both South Carolina and North Carolina and are available by mobile phone in the evenings, on weekends, and even holidays. Our lawyers are licensed in both states and are effective criminal trial attorneys. We are not afraid to go to Court and often do. Don’t settle for a lawyer who only wants to reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving. Call us today for a free attorney case review of your particular situation. We are here to help.