Getting stopped by the Indiana police on suspicion of DUI can be stressful under the best circumstances. But if the police stop you after having had a drink or two, it can be downright frightening. To protect your rights after getting flagged down by the police, remember to follow these do’s and don’ts.
1. Pull Over Immediately
If a police officer flashes their lights at you or otherwise indicates that you should stop, calmly put on your turn signal and pull over immediately. The police are very likely recording how you’re driving, so take care to follow all traffic laws.
2. Stay Calm
You’re likely to feel anxious as the officer approaches the car, but stay calm and polite. Remember that the police are still probably recording you. The last thing you want is to give the impression that you are drunk, rude, or uncooperative.
3. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
When the officer asks, provide your name, address, drivers’ license, and car registration, and insurance information. Otherwise, remember that you have the Constitutional right to remain silent. This right means that you can refuse to answer incriminating questions, such as “How much have you had to drink?” or even “Big party night?”
4. Consider Whether to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test or Chemical Test
The officer may ask you to perform a Field Sobriety Test. In Indiana, you have the right to refuse to take these tests without legal consequences. Simply tell the police officer your lawyer has told you to never to agree to such tests. However, under Indiana law having a drivers’ license gives implied consent to take a chemical test, such as a Breathalyzer. If you decide to refuse to take it anyway, you’ll face having your drivers’ license suspended for one year–and you can still get charged with an OWI.
1. Be Argumentative
Arguing with a police officer will get you absolutely nowhere, even if the police officer is wrong. Even if you haven’t been drinking, starting an argument may give an officer reason to think that you have been.
2. Admit to Drinking
Never admit to drinking, even if you had a single glass of wine. Some people think that volunteering such information will help their case or show that they’re being cooperative. But it can hurt more than it helps. Don’t lie–just remain silent if asked whether you’ve been drinking.
3. Don’t make any further statements if arrested
If you are arrested for DUI, make no further statements following the arrest. Most police cars have microphones or video recorders. Assume the police are recording everything you say and that they’ll hold anything even slightly incriminating against you. Save your statements for your lawyer.