How Can I Avoid Self-Incrimination During a DUI Stop?

police officer talking to young female driver during a traffic stop

At a DUI stop, both you and the police officer have different intentions and goals. The officer wants to prove you are intoxicated and, better yet, get you to admit it. Meanwhile, your goal is to avoid a ticket or arrest. So, what is the best way to avoid trouble?

Protecting Yourself At A DUI Stop

After you have been pulled over, the officer’s investigation begins. They’ll begin looking for signs of impairment immediately upon speaking with you. They may pick up on any slurred speech, signs of discoordination, or the scent of alcohol coming from your breath or vehicle. Because they were already suspicious enough to pull you over, they’ll likely be extra vigilant and attribute any abnormal behaviors to alcohol impairment – even if that isn’t the case.

They may also be straightforward and ask you if you have had anything to drink prior to being pulled over. This is when they hope that you will incriminate yourself.

The best way to avoid self-incrimination is by using your right to remain silent. By saying nothing, you avoid saying anything that could hurt your defense.

A Driver’s Right To Remain Silent

You should always use your right to remain silent when being questioned by the police. However, there is a specific way you must do so to protect yourself.

If you simply sit silently and don’t answer their questions, this can be used against you. In court, the police officer may bring up your silence and argue that you were silent because you knew you were guilty of committing a crime.

However, if you explicitly state that you are invoking your right to remain silent, the officer cannot use this against you in your future case. Make sure that you clearly state you are using your right to remain silent at a DUI stop.

DUI Defense in Fresno, California

You never want to admit to drinking and driving. Instead, use your legal right to remain silent. If your traffic stop results in an arrest, know that our team at Schweitzer & Davidian is here to help. Share the details of your case with a member of our team today – call us at (559) 206-2322.