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Mongtomery County DUI Traffic Stop Process

After someone has been pulled over by local police for suspicion of DUI, there are certain processes that the officer will go through to determine whether or not that person has been operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Stay informed on what happens during a DUI traffic stop so that you know what to expect should you be pulled over. For further information or to discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Montgomery County DUI lawyer.

Step 1: The Initial Stop

If you see flashing sirens in your rearview mirror and are being pulled over by law enforcement, you should pull over as soon as it’s safe. If there is nowhere safe to pull over, you should turn on your turn signal or your blinkers to indicate that you are planning to pull over as soon as it is safe and then pull over immediately when it becomes safe to do so. You should roll down your window and have your documents ready to hand over to the officer.

You should always be polite and courteous. Do not ever argue with the police officer; it will likely only harm your case. You should follow the officer’s instructions. However, you should not voluntarily provide any additional evidence to the officer. If the officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test or blow into the portable breath test, you should refuse to do that politely.

Is There Anything You Should Ask The Officer When Pulled Over?

No, you should refrain from asking any kind of questions. You shouldn’t challenge the officer and you shouldn’t argue with the officer. You are never going to win that argument. The place to win those arguments is in court, not with the officer on the side of the road.

Step 2: Officer Approaches Your Vehicle

First, the police officer will approach your vehicle from the driver’s side. They will tell you why they initiated the stop in the first place. Additionally, the police officer might also ask questions like: Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What have you been doing? How much have you had to drink? Be sure not to make any sudden movements or say anything that might incriminate you.

The officer will then get your license and registration take that back to his/her vehicle and run it to make sure that you don’t have any outstanding warrants, the insurance is valid, your vehicle is properly registered, and you are properly licensed.

Do You Have To Answer The Officer’s Questions?

It is going to seem awfully strange if you choose not to answer simple questions like that and probably at that point the officer will move to make an arrest. If an officer asks, “where are you  coming from?” and you say, “I am not going to talk to you,” that is already putting the interaction with the officer in an antagonistic frame, which may or may not be a good idea.

Step 3: Field Sobriety Tests and Potential Arrest

After searching your name through their databases, the police officer will come back to the vehicle ask you to step out of the car for field sobriety testing. They might potentially ask you to blow into a portable breath test.

After that they will arrest you for suspicion of DUI. The officer will then transfer you back to the police station and ask you to perform a breathalyzer there.

Getting Pulled Over at Night

It will be the same place exactly, whether it is day or night. You should pull over once it is safe and you should do exactly the same thing that you would do during a daytime stop. There is absolutely no difference between a daytime stop and a nighttime stop. Remember to remain polite and courteous. Do not get aggressive or confrontational with the police officer. That will only harm your case in the long run. You should have your documents ready. You should avoid providing any unnecessary evidence to the officer to justify the arrest. Have them all ready—license, registration, and your proof of insurance. Have them all in your hand and be ready to hand them to the officer as soon as he approaches the vehicle.

Being Pulled Over By An Unmarked car

You should expect to see their badge. Any officer, whether they are in plain clothes or not, is going to have their badge. They should show that badge to you and they should tell you what agency they are from and why they initiated the stop. It is extraordinarily rare to be pulled over by an unmarked police vehicle.

Can You Ask To See a Badge?

You can ask to see the badge, but really you shouldn’t have to ask to see the badge. The officer should show you the badge when they walk up to your vehicle.

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid at a DUI Stop

Avoid doing anything that is potentially incriminating. The Constitution of the United States guarantees certain rights to people, even if they are under suspicion for committing a crime. That would include making admissions to the officer, it can include complying with the field sobriety test or the administration of a portable breath test. It can be as simple as telling the officer what you were doing that evening. You should always be aware that the officer’s job is to arrest you for some type of offense and your goal is to provide as little evidence to justify the arrest as you can.