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Three Steps Every Driver Should Take When Pulled Over for Suspicion of Drunk Driving

Posted on in DUI Defense

steps to take for DUI, Chicago DUI lawyerYou have been pulled over by the police for suspicion of drinking and driving. Now what? A DUI arrest begins with an officer directing you to the side of the road based on probable cause that you have been operating your vehicle under the influence. From there, the officer observes you and asks for your information, and then typically requests for you to submit to a field sobriety test.

At this point, you have some decisions to make. Any test you take, along with how you choose to behave the moment you are accused, can and will be used against you in court. That is why the steps you take when you are pulled over are so crucial. Your course of action during these critical moments has the power to significantly impact your case from start to finish.

If you are pulled over for a DUI, follow these steps to set yourself up for a fair trial:

Exercise your rights - You cannot exercise your rights if you do not know what they are in the first place. Arm yourself with as much information as possible in the event that you need to defend yourself. For starters, Illinois law allows you some basic rights, regardless of the grounds for your arrest. For example, should you be arrested, you have the right to make a reasonable number of phone calls, the right to speak with an attorney, and the right to have the grounds for your arrest and any potential charges explained to you. When it comes to being pulled over for DUI in particular, you do have the option to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test. While there are consequences for refusing to submit (such as an immediate one-year suspension of your license), authorities cannot force you against your will. You have the right to refuse and ask to speak with an attorney. 

Cooperate - Refusing to provide your driver’s license and registration, refusing to step out of the vehicle, or resisting the officer who pulls you over in any way is the perfect recipe for trouble. Even if you feel you are wrongly accused, it is important to cooperate with the police, beginning with the moment you see the officer’s lights flash behind you. While you do have the right to politely decline the request for a field sobriety test, the police have the legal right to ask you to present your information and to ask you to submit to such tests, just as they have the right to search you and the area surrounding you in the event of an arrest. However the scene unfolds, your communication should be civil, respectful, and calm.

Request to speak with an attorney - Prosecution will use any failed sobriety test against you in a court of law, so it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible when you are pulled over for DUI. It is common for criminal defense attorneys to encourage their clients to refrain from submitting to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests, as this prevents the authorities from acquiring any evidence that can be used against them. An attorney will also be readily available to answer any questions or concerns you have, including concerns over being taken into custody and what it will mean for your future. The sooner you obtain professional legal representation, the sooner you can safeguard yourself in a court of law.

If you have been pulled over for DUI, there is not a moment to spare. Talk with a competent Chicago DUI attorney right away to ensure you are doing everything in your power to protect your rights. Call the Luisi Legal Group today at 773-276-5541 to schedule a personal consultation.

Sources: 

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

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Arrested.pdf

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