As Orange County
DUI defense attorneys, we have represented hundreds, if not thousands of DUI defendants
over the years, and we can say that most of them were nervous during their
DUI stop. We’ve heard clients say that they were scared, extremely
nervous, and afraid of being arrested.
Some clients “rambled away,” while others were regretfully
rude. Many of our clients who were polite to the police but had no idea
what to say. Often, their confusion led to them saying the wrong things,
even though they said them in the nicest way possible.
What should DUI suspects say?
One of the best things any
DUI suspect can do when pulled over is to answer only identifying information
requested by the officer and
politely invoke the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
While an officer is required to read you your Miranda Rights when you have
been arrested, anything you say prior to the arrest can be used to establish
grounds for the arrest. For example, “I had five drinks at the bar,
but I have a high tolerance to alcohol!” is not a good thing to
say to the officer. When it doubt, remain silent and let your DUI defense
attorney do the talking for you.
Everything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You
Some people think they can talk their way out of a DUI. This is a risky
and often unsuccessful approach for most drivers. Even if a drunk driver
is supermodel material, the officer can find her flirtations insulting.
Maybe there is a valid reason why an officer suspects you of being under
the influence or maybe you have no idea why they may have pulled you over.
Either way, you should avoid saying anything that could be used to justify
your arrest and charges.
Never say these things to a police officer:
- You are “less drunk” than your drunk passengers
- You were going to pull over and sleep off the alcohol
- You were out drinking, but you didn't have too much
- You mixed an energy drink with alcohol, so you’re sober
- You drank coffee after drinking, so now you’re wide awake
- You couldn’t afford to call Uber, Lyft, or a cab
- You drank, but you’re only driving a few miles home
- You’d have your teenager driver you home, but they don’t have
a license yet
- You didn’t know that drunk driving was illegal
- You used medication before getting behind the wheel, and it made you drowsy
- You have a clean record and never drank and drove before
When you’re stopped for DUI, assume that anything you say can and
will be used against you and proceed with caution. When the officer asks
you if you’ve been drinking, politely decline to answer their question.
What about telling an officer you had nothing to drink even though you
did? You may be asked to submit to a breath test, which could result in
more consequences for lying to an officer. Can you explain that you only
had one or two glasses of wine at dinner? Even if your BAC is below the
legal limit, you can still be charged with DUI as long as the state can
prove that your ability to drive safely was impaired.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Orange County, the Law Offices of
Virginia L. Landry, Inc. is here for you.
Contact our team today to discuss your case!