How To Answer 6 Common Questions Police Ask at DUI Stops

DUI Attorney Denver

Neither Wolf Law, LLC, nor Jeffrey Wolf support or encourage drinking and driving. Please be responsible and use a designated driver or call a cab.

 

One night, you’re out having a few drinks with friends. At the night’s end, you “feel fine,” are only “buzzed,” or you “don’t want to leave your car” and decide to drive instead of calling a cab. Half-way home, red and blue flashing lights engulf your rear-view mirror. You’re sitting on the side of the road, watching the officer walk up in your car’s side view mirror. Your heart is pounding through your chest, but it’s important to keep calm.

Knowing what the police might ask, and having your responses ready, is the best way to prepare for this situation. Here are six questions the officer might ask if they suspect you’ve been drinking. Remember, how you handle yourself in this situation can determine if you’re heading home or being charged with a DUI.

Q: Do you know why I pulled you over?

A: “No officer, I do not know why you pulled me over.”

Answer in the negative. You are not lying – you cannot know for sure why the officer pulled you over, and any admission by you can be used later in court. Do not give law enforcement any more ammunition to prosecute you. You cannot talk yourself out of a ticket once they’ve pulled you over, and you are never required to incriminate yourself.

Q: Can I have your license, registration, and insurance?

A: “Here you go, officer.”

You must provide these documents in a timely and efficient matter. Police ask for these to see if you can multitask between talking and providing documentation. Failure to provide the documents quickly and without confusion is an sign of intoxication.

If you get pulled over, assemble these key documents and have them ready for the officer. Make sure and listen to EXACTLY what the officer asks for and only provide those documents. Also, ensure you have current documents that are not expired, as out date documents can cause charges to be filed on their own.

Q: Have you been drinking?

A: “I will not be answering that question – I am choosing to remain silent.”

You have an absolute right to remain silent when asked to incriminate yourself in this fashion. Admission of drinking, regardless of amount, establishes probable cause for more questions. If the officer believes you have been drinking, you will not accomplish anything by admitting to or denying drinking.

DO NOT answer the question, and do not sit silently; you have to actually assert your right to remain silent. Be polite, but firm. No matter what the officer does after that, you have done yourself a service. TWEET THIS

Q: Where are you coming from?

A: “I will not be answering that question – I am choosing to remain silent.”

Police officers ask these types of questions to find a way to assume you have been drinking, or to get you to admit you have been drinking. Remember, you are not required to incriminate yourself. You DO NOT have to tell the officer where you are coming from. DO NOT lie, and DO NOT sit silently – You must assert your right to remain silent, as advised above. You are NOT required to admit to anything – DO NOT fall into the trap. TWEET THIS

Q: Would you mind stepping out of the car to do some roadside tests so I can be sure you are safe to drive?

A: “I will not submit to any form of roadside testing.”

Again, you are never required to incriminate yourself! Roadside tests, including the handheld breath test, are 100% voluntary – even if the officer does not tell you this. Roadside tests are based on shaky science at best and are almost impossible to pass with an officer keeping score. NEVER volunteer to do a roadside test; whether it is an eye test, walking test, one leg test, alphabet test, counting test, or portable (handheld) breath test. Refusal to take roadside tests cannot be used against you, no matter what the officer threatens for lack of compliance. TWEET THIS

Q: You are being charged with a DUI, would you like to take a blood or breath test? Failure to do so will result in the immediate suspension of your license.

A: “I would like to take a breath test.” Or “I would like to take a blood test.”

At this point, you are being charged with a DUI. Colorado’s Express Consent Law requires any driver to consent to a chemical test (breath or blood) if an officer has established probable cause that you are driving under the influence. You do not get to decide if he has established probable cause – that is up to a court and the DMV at a later date.

Refusing to cooperate with a chemical test will result in a lengthy suspension of your driving privilege and a mandatory interlock device in your car.

Complying with the request is your best option, though the decision of which test to take is a personal one (and each has its own implications).

Breath results are quick and get the ball rolling much quicker on actions taken against your driving privilege by the DMV. With a positive breath test, you only have 7 days to request a hearing or your driving privilege will be immediately suspended. Blood results can take months to come in and can give some breathing room on driving privilege actions by the DMV but are more intrusive as they require a blood draw.

You do not have the right to consult an attorney before giving a chemical sample. The best option for is to get advice from an attorney before a situation like this happens.

Your best defense from a DUI charge is not to drink and drive at all. But, sometimes good people make bad decisions. Those poor decisions multiply if you don’t know your rights, or know how to answer the officers questions.