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Complying with Officer Requests When You've Been Pulled Over for DUI: What to Expect and What Not to Do

Posted on in DUI Defense

comply with police llinois, Chicago dui lawyerThe outcome of your DUI arrest actually begins before you pull over for the officer who has flagged you down. The moment you see an officer's lights flash behind you, the decisions you make from that point on will set the tone for your entire case. Even if you are guilty of driving under the influence, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to remain respectful and comply with the police, to the best of your ability. However, this does not mean you are required to incriminate yourself.

Here are some common requests you will face from an officer who pulls you over for the suspicion of DUI and how you should handle each one:

Proper pullover - Police want to see you pull your car over quickly, safely, and correctly. You should not delay pulling over to the side of the road; you should comply with the officer’s direction as quickly as possible, so long as you can safely park your vehicle. The sooner you stop and park your car, the better your chances of avoiding unnecessary tension and conflict once the officer approaches you. You want to cooperate from start to finish, and pulling over immediately, when the officer directs you to do so, is the first signal that demonstrates you are taking the matter seriously and that you intend to comply.

License and registration - This will be the police officer’s immediate request the moment they have approached your car. The important note here is to ensure that your license, registration, and any other materials the officer asks for, such as proof of insurance, are readily available. Police prefer to see your hands and for you to verbally state where the items are first, before you reach for them. Let them know if they are in your purse, pocket, or elsewhere. Avoid quick movements, keep your hands visible, and do not take too long to search for the requested items. If you are having difficulty finding what you need, let the officer know and explain why. Communication is key. For one, you might lead the officer to believe you are a threat, and second, you might imply that you are impaired, which can further hurt your case.

Stepping out of the vehicle - If the officer feels he or she has probable cause, they may ask you to step out of the vehicle. Probable cause under DUI circumstances typically means the officer detects alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, or observes signs of impairment as he or she is speaking to you. While you have the right to deny other requests after you step out of the car, such as the request to search your car without a warrant, it is in your best interests to calmly and respectfully comply with the officer’s request for you to remove yourself from the vehicle.

Submit to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests - According to Illinois law, you have the right to refuse breathalyzer and field sobriety tests, if you wish. Does this mean you should just because you can, however? There are varying opinions on the matter, largely due to the fact that your driving privileges will be at stake regardless of whether you do or do not submit. But, should you choose to refuse the tests, you increase the chances of lessening the collection of any evidence that can be used against you later, in a court of law. If the officer requests for you to submit to a test, it may be in your best interests to refuse and ask to speak with an attorney instead. Keep in mind, however, that your license will be suspended up to year if your refuse a BAC test (and if it is only your first DUI offense).

A qualified Chicago DUI lawyer can address all of your questions and concerns regarding your DUI arrest. If you have been pulled over for the suspicion of driving under the influence, and you are facing criminal charges, call the Luisi Legal Group today at 773-276-5541 to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-drivers-ed-police-stops-illinois-law-met-20160906-story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/23/us/sandra-bland-traffic-stop-rights/

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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