The action of being pulled over by the police for any reason can be distressing and cause a driver to panic. When you know you are being pulled over by the police for suspicion of DUI, an overwhelming sense of fear may overtake you even if you know you have done nothing illegal. Regardless of whether or not being pulled over for DUI is justified or warranted under the New Hampshire law, there are a few basic points and behaviors to keep in mind as the situation unfold. These points can help minimize the time you have to deal with the police and possibly help minimize your chances of being charged with a DUI.
Things to Remember
- Behavior is everything. How you act toward the police officer from the second contact is made can play a huge role in how the situation unfolds. This means you should be courteous and polite even if you are personally upset or angry about being pulled over. Part of being polite is promptly having all documents in order and answering in a “yes sir” “no sir” manner. One basic rule of behavior is to remain composed and not make any sudden or threatening movements. This is for your legal protection as well as your personal safety.
- Being polite does not mean you have to surrender your rights. While remaining courteous at all times is a must, you do not have to do all that officer requests. This can include breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests. Part of protecting your rights may entail refusing to answer questions related to your alleged alcohol consumption or destination. You can politely state that you know your rights and choose not to answer or perform any test. It is recommended that you give brief answers if you do chose to answer questions. If you have a clear issue with a field sobriety test, such as health concerns that will yield unfavorable results, you can certainly explain those issues and decline the test on those grounds. Remember, field sobriety tests are subjective and in no way an exact science.
- Be observant of the officer’s behavior and take notes of the facts of the situation. If you feel you were treated disrespectfully or unlawfully, it can be useful to write down the facts of the situation or the statements exchanged. Even if you feel the officer was as professional and respectful as possible, it is advised that you write down the basic facts of the incident such as: date, time, tests given, weather conditions, and if your rights were explained.
- Hire a DUI Lawyer. Lastly, if you have been charged with DUI, it is critically important to have a skilled and experienced criminal attorney evaluate the situation as soon as possible. Anyone pulled over has rights and protections under the law, regardless of the situation. Everyone also has the right to know the exact nature of any evidence that may be presented against them, including chemical or breath test The best way to gauge the potential outcome of a DUI charge is to have a DUI attorney outline these rights and protections, and to defend you.
A NH DUI charge can impact your wallet, freedom, and finances. A charge can even impact your reputation and job. Being aware of the above tips and checklist of behaviors and advice can help you avoid a DUI charge or can help you minimize the impact of a potential charge.