If you are pulled over by law enforcement under the suspicion of driving under the influence, you could be arrested, and charged and convicted of a DUI or a DWI. By following the steps listed below, you will protect yourself as much as possible, and your legal rights.
Pull Over Calmly
Put on your turn signal, and pull over immediately, in a calm manner. Come to a complete stop and turn off your car. Everything you do is likely being recorded by a camera, so it is important to act as calmly as possible throughout the entire process, beginning from when you pull your car over to the side of the road.
When the police officer comes to your car to visit with you, your interaction may be recorded through both audio and video. Be as calm and polite as possible. Never argue or be rude. Never give anyone a reason to believe that you are not in full control of your faculties or that you were drunk. Always use the words “sir” and “ma’am” to show respect towards authority.
Never Admit to Drinking
You must provide a police officer with your name, your driver’s license, your registration, and your car insurance information. You are not required by law to answer any other questions such as “How much have you had to drink tonight?”
It is in your best interest to remain silent and attempt to avoid saying anything. The conversation is likely being recorded, so anything you say can (and will) be used against you. Remember, in Colorado, the legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08%. If you are below this level, you are not guilty of DUI.
Therefore, you should avoid answering any questions about alcohol consumption as they are likely too vague to explain the type of alcohol you consumed, the amount, if you ate any food with it, the time period, etc.
Do Not Submit to a Field Sobriety Test
Field sobriety tests are notorious for being subjective and improperly administered. In the State of Colorado, you are required to get out of the vehicle if a police officer asks you to do so; however, you are not required to submit to any field sobriety test. If you have poor balance while sober, you will fail these tests.
Submit to Chemical Testing
In Colorado, you do NOT have a right to refuse chemical testing, if the officer asks you to submit to blood, breath, or urine analysis. Colorado law considers your act of driving a motor vehicle “express consent” to these tests and refusing them can result in additional penalties.
Do Not Make Any Statement After Being Arrested
If you are arrested, do not say anything. Police cars are often outfitted with microphones and cameras as well. Make sure everything you say and do is appropriate and non-violent. Any statement you make can be used against you in a court of law.
Contact an Attorney
At any point in this process, you have a right to legal counsel. Request to do so as soon as possible. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI, contact The Moorhead Law Group at (303) 447-1400 or online today to discuss your legal options and rights.