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What Should I Do if I’m Pulled Over After Having a Drink?

Getting pulled over by the police while driving can be nerve-racking and stressful, especially when you have previously had an alcoholic drink. Even if you only had one or two drinks, it is important to know your rights to avoid causing yourself unnecessary hardship. Read on and speak with a skilled Bergen County DWI attorney for assistance during your drunk driving case.

How to Respond When You’re Pulled Over After Having a Drink

If you are pulled over after having had a drink or two you may be nervous about what to expect. Refer to the following information to learn about your rights and what you should or should not do after being pulled over.

  1. Remain calm and collected when you see the lights of the police car. Use your turn signal and come to a complete stop in a safe area off the road. Be polite and avoid being rude, unreasonable, or combative.
  2. Follow the officer’s instructions, to an extent. In New Jersey, officers have the right to ask you to show them your driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and ask you to step out of your vehicle. Abide by these instructions when they are given.
  3. Avoid incriminating yourself. You do not legally have to answer any questions made by the officer including where you are heading, where you are coming from, and how much you have had to drink tonight.
  4. Do not participate in field sobriety tests. If an officer asks you to stand on one leg, walk a certain distance and turn, or do any other physical sobriety test you do not legally have to participate. These tests can be difficult and are often designed for you to fail. If you generally have poor balance or are nervous it could appear that you are more intoxicated than you are.
  5. It is up to you whether or not you decide to take a breathalyzer. New Jersey law has implied consent meaning that by operating a motor vehicle on public roads you are consenting to submit to chemical or breath tests for blood alcohol content. Despite these consent laws drivers do have the right to refuse to submit to testing. However, you can be charged with a DUI refusal and have your license suspended. Use your best judgment considering how much you have had to drink.
  6. Exercise your right to remain silent. If you are arrested you should not make any statements until you speak with your lawyer. This includes while you are in the police car and station where there may be cameras.
  7. Request to speak with a skilled lawyer for help during your DUI case. When it is safe to do so offer them information about the details of your situation. They will be able to help formulate a defense for your case.
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