Getting pulled over by a police officer can be an extremely stressful, frustrating, and intimidating experience, especially if it’s your first time.
Below are six steps to take after getting pulled over for a DUI.
1. As soon as you see the lights, pull over as soon as possible, but do this within the realm of common sense. If you are in the middle of an intersection, don’t put it in park, sit and wait for the police officer to approach your vehicle and become a mini van traffic cone. Don’t pull over on the shoulder of a major highway off ramp where tractor trailers will undoubtedly be barreling down every five seconds and can quickly hit you while driving by. Pull over as soon as you can find a safe spot that will also be safe for the officer to get out of his car.
2. The best criminal defense lawyers recommend that once you have pulled over, immediately put on your hazard lights. This shows the officer that you are concerned for everyone s safety. Even if it is in the daytime, it helps make other drivers aware that they should approach you and the officer with caution.
3. Be Honest. If the officer asks you to explain your situation or even leaves room for you to make a comment to his explanation, honesty is always the best policy.
4. Any experienced DUI attorney, such as Stephen Lukach, will recommend that you apologize. Telling the officer in a genuine manner that you are sorry for what you did will show him that are aware of what you did was wrong, and that you don t want to do it again, and will be careful to avoid the same action in the future.
5. Be Polite. This goes hand in hand with being honest. Police officers will respond to politeness and courtesy much better as opposed to a rude and begrudging attitude. The same way that you don t like to be treated rudely by anyone at your job, neither do they. Remember, you are the one who committed the offense, and they are just doing their job. Yes, it may be difficult to swallow being pulled over for doing 35mph in a 30 mph zone, and yes there are some officers who may be on a power trip or just plain grumpy. Yet, when you break the law, you must pay the consequences.
6. Accept the consequences. If it turns out that you follow these steps, and you get off on just a warning, congratulations! Use it as a lesson to not repeat the offense. If not, and you are still slapped with a ticket, accept it, and don’t argue.