What to say after an officer pulls you over for suspected DUI

Anytime the police pull you over because they suspect you of driving under the influence, it can be frightening. You might even feel ashamed, even if you did not do anything wrong.

However, how you act in that moment can make a difference in your case. Discover what you can say or do to potentially help your case during a traffic stop for a suspected DUI.

Provide your basic information

When moving about in public, Kentuckians generally do not have to show a police officer their identification. However, different rules apply to drivers, who must carry identification.

When an officer requests your license, registration and proof of insurance when you are operating a vehicle, you should provide these documents. Keep your hands visible when the officer approaches. Let the officer know where you keep these items and when you are reaching for them.

Law enforcement also expects you to inform an officer if you are carrying a firearm. Stay respectful and polite throughout these transactions.

State which rights you wish to uphold

While you must provide identification as a driver, you still do not have to answer the officer’s questions. This is your Fifth Amendment right. Again, you can respectfully assert this right to remain silent without getting into a confrontation. If the officer issues you a citation, you can address the charges at a later court date.

You can also refuse a request to search your vehicle without a warrant, which is your Fourth Amendment right. Additionally, you do not have to consent to a field sobriety test, such as the one-leg stand, eye movement or walk-and-turn test. These tests are largely subjective and are not foolproof. Clearly state that you refuse such a test if you do not want to submit to it.

However, Kentucky has implied consent laws for breath tests. Refusing such a test may help your case, but you will likely face charges and penalties until you can fight the charges in court.

Remember that a stop for a suspected DUI does not mean an arrest and conviction is a foregone conclusion. By taking appropriate steps and saying the right things, you can protect your case.