Roadside Stop: Things to Remember When Getting Pulled Over

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The roadside stop is the among the most scary things on the road. The flashing lights of a police car in the rear view mirror fill most motorists with dread. Although nobody likes the roadside stop, it’s essential to show a police officer that you’re cooperating. If an officer is at ease, they will be less suspicious of you and your activities prior to the traffic stop.

What to do During a Roadside Stop

#1) Stay Calm

If you’ve ever been part of a roadside stop, you know it’s natural to feel nervous.  If you’ve been drinking, this feeling of panic is intensified due to the possibility of being arrested for a DUI. The main thing to remember when being pulled over is to remain calm. As the officer approaches your car, take a few deep breaths and remember to keep your hands on the wheel until the officer asks for your paperwork.

#2) Keep Quiet

When talking to the officer, don’t admit any guilt. It’s acceptable to give “yes” and “no” answers, but any explanation beyond that is usually not necessary. Anything you say can show up later in court. Wait until formal questioning to offer explanations, and remember whatever you say and do from here on out could make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. Also, just a note, never bribe the officer. Not only is a bribe unethical, but it is definitely a crime.

#3) Decline Field Sobriety Tests

If you have a traffic stop for suspicion of a DUI, the officer will likely want to conduct field sobriety tests on you. You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests. You may tell the officer you do not wish to participate, especially if you know you’re over the legal limit and will be arrested for DUI. The officer may ask for a reason, but you don’t have to give one. Though you may refuse field sobriety tests, your refusal can go against you in court if the traffic stop results in an arrest.

#4) Decline Field Breathalyzer Tests

If you refuse to submit to field sobriety tests, the officer may ask you to take a breath test. The breath test administered on the side of the road is a preliminary alcohol screening, and the law does not you to do it. You may refuse the Breathalyzer without losing your license. It’s important to remember that roadside breath tests are notoriously inaccurate, so request a blood test at the police station instead.

#5) Sobriety Test at Police Station is Mandatory

If the events of the traffic stop resulted in you ending up at the police station for a DUI, a sobriety test is mandatory. This sobriety test happens in the form of a breath or blood test, and failure to comply with these mandatory tests is a crime. Under the law, it is your decision to obtain a driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle; therefore, by legal implication, you gave “implied consent” for a test under such circumstances.

#6) Be Polite

Though you may exercise your Constitutional rights against self-incrimination, this doesn’t you can be rude. There is absolutely no excuse for being obnoxious or argumentative with the officer, and it can only harm your case later on. Treat the officer with the respect they deserve; it could be the difference between a DUI arrest and a simple warning.

Hire an Attorney

The Kavinoky Law Firm employs the best DUI lawyers in Los Angeles. Call for a free consultation anytime with a top criminal defense attorney in California. Call 24/7 – 365 days a year. We’re here to fight for you.


Brianna Wilkins
Brianna Wilkins