Getting pulled over by police for anything can be stressful, especially if they suspect a DUI. DUIs have serious consequences, but most drivers don’t know their rights at traffic stops. If you ever get pulled over for suspected DUI in Atlanta, Georgia, here are some things to keep in mind.
What to do when pulled over
Reduce your risk of getting stopped for DUI by using a designated driver, but sometimes, sober drivers are randomly stopped. Before you drive, ensure your license plates are updated and visible, and fix loud exhaust pipes and cracked windows. If you see the fleshing lights, find a safe place to pull over, but avoid driving behaviors that may increase suspicion.
Roll the window down, turn on the dome light, and keep your hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches the vehicle. These actions help you appear less of a threat to the officer who is likely approaching your vehicle from behind.
Actions to take during the stop
No matter how the officer treats you, remain calm and polite so the officer will less likely arrest you or act aggressively. Be prepared for the officer to ask you questions, such as how much you had to drink or where you have been. However, Miranda Rights give you the right to remain silent, and you don’t have to answer those questions that may incriminate you.
You do not have to consent to vehicle searches, even if you are visibly intoxicated, but they still may frisk you for weapons. However, don’t give them probable cause to search the vehicle, such as suddenly bending over to pick up something. You may refuse the field sobriety tests some officers conduct in most cases without penalty, but officers don’t usually say they are voluntary.
Knowing your rights during a traffic stop may prevent unlawful arrests. If you are charged, you can challenge the chemical test results.