Communication with Law Enforcement During a DUI Stop

  • May 26, 2017

    Knowing how to talk to a police officer when being questioned during a DUI stop can be a real advantage. Officers do not make random stops, as the law holds they must have witnessed an illegal driving maneuver or have reasonable suspicion the suspect driver has committed or is in commission of a crime. There is no such thing as a routine license check. However, the threshold of how much suspicion is necessary to warrant a stop is questionable, as police can even stop a driver for failure to illuminate a license plate while the vehicle is in operation. These small reasons are often cover for the real reason a police officer wants stop a vehicle. Very often they want to interrogate the driver for alcohol or drug use and search the vehicle. Make no mistake about the fact that police are zealous about arresting individuals for even misdemeanors such as driving under the influence. Even though they may sound nice and official when they first approach the suspect’s car window, it takes very little proof of a crime to justify an arrest. And, even when there is no illegal conduct, disrespecting an officer can result in a bad situation even for the seemingly sober driver. All Los Angeles DUI attorneys say that anytime a driver is stopped they should treat situation as a very serious matter.

    Be Respectful and Answer Questions Succinctly

    It is important to remember that the initial communication with the police officer is actually a criminal investigation. It is not merely a traffic stop. If the officer asks about understanding the reason for the stop, answer the question honestly. This usually the first question from the primary officer. Many times a second officer will assist as well, especially when the primary officer wants to conduct a search or a field sobriety test. How the suspect talks to the officer is vital to the decision to continue the questioning and merely write a ticket or warning. During the answering process the officer will be looking for any smell or other sign of alcohol use. It is important to always be honest when questioned by a police officer, but never embellish on any answer or offer information trying to convince an officer not to take action. Answer all questions using as few words as possible. And, also remember that you have a right to remain silent at any point in the process, but this will almost assuredly encourage the police officer to look for any illegal activity in any form. Officers do not like suspects who want to invoke their rights prior to being charged, but discussing the case with a Los Angeles DUI attorney is a legal right.

    Never Be Aggressive with the Officers

    There have been numerous examples on various media exampling how police investigations can get out of hand when suspects do not cooperate. Individuals who are seemingly law abiding citizens are often combative with officers just for being questioned. A DUI stop is one of the most intense field situations officers learn in training, and they are always keen to how the suspect responds when be detained. Not only is it important to act calm and reasonable, the suspect should never make any quick movement, especially towards clothing pockets. It is easier to talk with an officer with hands down than with hands up, and any component of the investigation is actually material case evidence the state can use during the prosecution.

    How a suspect talks to police during a DUI stop investigation can be the difference between going to jail for a borderline BAC or being allowed to continue on down the highway. However, in serious situations it may be necessary to refuse answering questions and call a Los Angeles DUI lawyer immediately.

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