An Oregon man was arrested for drunk driving recently after running his car onto a sidewalk and hitting another vehicle. His mug shot is telling, because at the time of the incident, he was wearing a shirt that read “Drunk As Sh*t.”
Police reported that the man was driving the car because his girlfriend, who was with him at the time, did not know how to operate a stick shift. When his girlfriend tried to take the keys away from him, he attempted to strangle her, adding strangulation and reckless endangerment charges to his DUI.
This farcical story points to a bigger principle. When it comes to police stops, don’t incriminate yourself. Police are looking for excuses to arrest you, so don’t give them any. If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint or during a routine traffic stop, say only what needs to be said.
Respectfully answer the police officer’s questions, but know your rights. They cannot legally require you to say something that would incriminate yourself.
Even after an arrest takes place, you retain the same rights. Police officers must recite your Miranda Rights to you during an arrest. It usually goes something like this,
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
Because anything you say can and probably will be held against you, avoid saying anything until you have an attorney present. Contact Attorney Virginia L. Landry today for a free evaluation of your case.