What NOT to say during a DUI traffic stop
Believe it or not, a police officer may have reasonable suspicion that a person is under the influence of alcohol even when they are completely sober. If you are distracted with the radio, a phone, or a child in the backseat and are swerving all over the road; an officer may have reason to believe something is wrong.
If you end up face to face with a law enforcement officer during a DUI traffic stop you still have rights. Just because you may have been drinking does not mean an officer has the right to do whatever they want. However, it is a tricky balancing act and you never want to come across as a jerk and intensify the situation any more than it already is.
What NOT to say during a DUI traffic stop:
- Admit to drinking… even one or two beers: If you have been drinking you should not share this with the officer. Minimizing the amount you may have actually consumed does not help. If you have only had one or two drinks, admitting that fact will not help. If they ask if you have consumed any alcohol recently, a simple “no” works perfectly. No further explanation is needed.
- I’m sober enough to drive: You have just admitted to drinking. The officer is now going to investigate further. Even if this is true, do not share this thought with the police.
- You had no reason to pull me over: You do not want to start this meeting in a confrontational manner. You will immediately increase the stakes and inflame the situation. Ordinarily the officer will have a “dash camera” that will record the observations that lead to the stop. An experienced criminal trial lawyer can review the footage and file any appropriate motions to improve your case. I assure you that you will not “win” your case from the side of the road. The best thing you can do is be polite and remain silent.
- I know my rights and you can’t do that: Let an experienced lawyer fight your battle in court if you end up in handcuffs. You will do more harm than good by telling an officer he does not know the law. Keep calm and remain silent. You are not going to talk yourself out of an arrest. You just may talk yourself into one and a conviction to follow.
Should you find yourself under arrest, remain quiet and stay calm. After you hire an attorney, you can share your thoughts from the arrest and help in your own defense.
Whether you were arrested in Tavares, the surrounding Lake County area, or anywhere else in Central Florida, call Mark Jackson with Jackson Defense. He will provide a free consultation with you in his downtown Tavares office or over the phone. He will review your case and develop a game plan. Do yourself a favor, don’t say anything that will make your lawyer’s job defending you any harder than it needs to be. You have rights, let Mark Jackson fight to protect them.