Tips for the driver who is stopped by police for suspected DUI offense

When the officer indicates that he wants you to stop….Pull over as soon as it is safe to do so.

Once you have determined that the officer is directing you by his flashing lights or siren indicate by your turn signal that your are intending to pull off the roadway, and then do so as soon as there is a place to safely pull over.  If there is no place to safely pull over, the officer will see this, but you should slow down and put on your turn signal so that he knows you are responding.
Always pull over to the right. Always pull over on the right side of the road. On divided highways, signal and safely move over to the far right lane, and then to the shoulder. When you come to a complete stop, choose a section of roadway that has a full shoulder, without guardrails if possible.  If you do anything to indicate that you are not responding promptly, you can expect the officer to consider you to be dangerous and to respond accordingly.

Kentucky law and that of many states requires you to carry a license, registration and proof of insurance in your car. Once you have come to a stop find this paperwork.   To avoid appearing like you may be reaching for a weapon, turn on your car’s interior lights if it is dark out.   Roll down the driver’s window.
Do not unlock your seatbelt.  If you can’t reach your paperwork without unbuckling your seatbelt, then wait for the officer to direct you to look for the paperwork, and be sure that he has seen that you had your seatbelt buckled.  Many people have unbuckled their seatbelt when pulled over, to look for their wallet and paperwork, and the office didn’t see them unbuckle and then charges them with driving without a seatbelt.
Make the officer feel safe. Always keep your hands in plain sight. It is best to place them on the steering wheel where he can see them. Don’t make any sudden movements. Roll your window down all the way. Stay in the car unless directed to get out.  Consider how the officer might be viewing this situation, and don’t do anything that looks like you might be going for a weapon.
Respond to the officer’s questions.  Don’t say anything that may incriminate yourself.  Anything you say will be repeated in court if it tends to hurt your case Don’t volunteer information, like how fast you thought you were going. The officer may not be pulling you over for what you think he is. Let him talk to you first. React politely and you may have more of a chance to be sent on your way without a ticket.

If you are a relative of a public official, keep it to yourself.  Telling an officer that your uncle is a bigshot, will not impress the officer, and may cause him to treat you more harshly to impress upon you that he is not impressed and threatened by your connections.
Don’t argue with the officer. Challenging the policeman is foolish.  If you have an argument, save it for the courtroom where it will do you some good.  Some states require the officer to show you the setting on the radar gun if it was used to stop you.  Kentucky does not require the officer to show you the radar gun.  So if you ask, do so politely, and when refused, accept it without complaining, and tell your lawyer about it later.
If asked to take a Breathlyzer test, you have the choice to refuse, but in doing so you will probably have your license suspended, and the officer will be able to tell the officer you refused to take the test.  After submitting to the BA test, you have the right to be transported to a medical facility and to pay for your own blood test.   Don’t do this if you think you might be quilty….the blood test usually shows a higher reading then the BA machine.  But if you think you are not intoxicated, then be very clear about asking to call your lawyer and to request your own blood test.
If asked to submit to a field sobriety test, you may refuse.  If the officer asks you to take a field sobriety test (walk and turn, touch you nose with your index finger, repeat the alphabet, etc.) he is doing so to obtain additional evidence to be used to convict yourself.  Rarely will a field sobriety test be successfully passed.

However, if you are stone cold sober, you may benefit from the test.  The officer is required to conduct the test only on level ground and if you have high heeled shoes on, ask to be permitted to take them off.  If you have any medical conditions that prevent you from passing such a test, tell the officer.

If asked were you drinking?   If asked this question, you should say no if you have not been drinking, and if you have you shouldn’t say anything.  You can not be forced to answer that question and incriminate yourself.  If you say you were drinking, he will write this down and later tell the jury.   You don’t have to help him prosecute you.
Taking the Horizontal Nystigmus Test.   If asked to take this test, ask the officer if you can face away from passing traffic, as some experts say lights from passing traffic, particularly at night, can cause your pupils to respond in the same manner as the officer is trained to believe will indicate you are intoxicated.

The best defense against a drunk driving arrest is to never drive a car after taking two drinks.  Females, due to their smaller frames, should place their limit at one drink.

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