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Everyone’s been pulled over at least once in their life, but our instinctual responses to these types of situations are rarely right.
If you are suspected of drunk driving, your behavior during your traffic stop is critical.
Anything you say to the police can be used against you later in court.
New Jersey DUI Lawyer Matt Reisig believes everyone should be educated about how to behave in a traffic stop. These tips could be invaluable to you when you go to trial.
- Stay safe. The first thing a police officer judges in any traffic stop is your ability to make rational decisions. If you pull over into a dangerous area, he will automatically question your sobriety. When you see flashing red and blue lights, you may be tempted to pull over immediately, but always make sure the side of the road is wide enough, well lit and clear of dangerous debris. If it is not, the officer will not judge your decision to keep driving until you found a safe area to stop.
- Be quiet. Anything you say during a traffic stop may be recorded by the officer and used against you later. Don’t explain where you were coming or going from and don’t make excuses for your driving.
- Act polite. Many of these stops are recorded by on-car cameras. If you act rudely, it will show up in trial and be used against you. On the other hand, being polite while refusing to answer questions sometimes angers police officers, which could result in their saying or doing something that will be held in your favor.
- Be stubborn. When an officer requests that you take a field sobriety test, politely decline. He will likely threaten to arrest you if you refuse, but the test is mandatory and officers have usually decided to arrest you for drunk driving by the time they even ask you to take a field sobriety test.
- Stay stubborn. If an officer asks you to take a portable breathalyzer test, decline. This is another optional test disguised to look like a requirement. These devices are inaccurate and you are not required to use them.
- Accept your duties. When you are brought to the station and asked to take a real chemical sobriety test, do so. These results can be later disputed by your New Jersey DUI lawyer, but refusing to take them will be counted against you much worse than a breathalyzer failure. Most people who refuse to take the test receive ten months of license suspension, while people who fail the test generally receive only three months of license suspension.
- Request an attorney. You will not be granted a New Jersey DUI attorney right away, but just by asking for one you are showing you are in control of your mental facilities and you understand your rights. Both of these things will benefit you in the long run.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact your New Jersey DUI lawyer as soon as possible. At the Matthew Reisig Law Firm, we are proud to answer our client’s questions and provide them with top DUI defense in New Jersey. Contact our office at any time to discuss your case and schedule your free initial consultation.