This article was written and published by David Sobel in 2010.
When you are being stopped by the police it is extremely important to remain as calm as humanly possible.
Do Not Make Any Unnecessary Statements
When you get stopped, the officer will ask you for your driver’s license and registration. They will also ask you for some basic personal information such as name and date of birth. You are required to provide this biographical information. This information is ok to provide.
As the investigation continues, the police will begin to ask you some more specific DUI related questions such as if, when and what you had to drink. You DO NOT have to answer these types of questions. Anything that you say will be put into a police report and used against you in court. DO NOT LIE to the officer(s), instead politely tell the officer that you “have been advised not to answer these types of questions and would like to exercise your right not to do so.” Don’t be surprised if the police get upset and try to bully you …this is not unusual. Anything you tell them will be used against you and the last thing you want to do is lie. The fact of the matter is that anything you tell them can only serve to hurt your case.
Provide required documentation.
Ensure that your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance are together, and in an easy to access location in your vehicle. Many officers will note your inability to locate these items easily as part of their proof of intoxication.
Decline to Perform the Field Sobriety Test
Field Sobriety Exercises are a series of balance and coordination tests used by the police to help them determine if someone is under the influence. You do not have to take these tests they are voluntary and you may decline to perform them. Although the police rarely tell you that you have the right to refuse these test …the fact is that you can refuse to perform them. Be advised, however, that refusal to perform roadsides may cause you to be arrested in some cases. If this is the case, they already have enough to arrest you without roadsides, and the request is to show what roadsides you have failed so that the failure may be used against you
Your performance on the Field Sobriety Exercises will generally only further incriminate you. The officer will not only look at your performance of the exercises but also how you follow their instructions. Officers spend hours in classes learning and practicing how to properly perform these exercises, yet you are supposed to perform them well on the very first try. It is both unfair and not an accurate reading of your level of impairment.