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What should I say to police if I'm pulled over after drinking?

It's a tale as old as time (or at least as old as the automobile) — you have a few beers and get behind the wheel, assuming you're fine to drive. Then, on the way home, you see the blue lights flashing behind you. Don't panic, you have yet to receive charges. However, the way you interact with the officer who stops you may greatly impact your case, specifically when it comes to the things you say.

First, it is important to understand that you should never lie to a police officer. Lying to an officer of the law is a quick and simple way to end up with a charge of obstruction of justice. However, this does not mean that you must be forthcoming with information to the officer. Other than giving the officer your name, you are generally not required to give them any other verbal information. When in doubt, it is wise to remain silent or ask for your attorney.

This is not to say that you shouldn't cooperate, which you should. You can remain calm and comply with the officer throughout the interaction without speaking. Should the officer press you for more information, it is wise to state that you wish to speak with your attorney and otherwise remain silent. You have no legal obligation to admit to any actions or to consent to a search of your vehicle if the officer asks for your permission.

If you find yourself in this scenario, you should consult with an attorney as soon as you can. An experienced defense attorney understands the inner workings of the local justice system and can help you prepare a strong defense to any charges you may receive from the officer. Proper legal counsel also works to keep your rights and future protected in the face of DUI charges.

Source: Findlaw, "5 Things You Should Never Say to a Cop," accessed Sep. 22, 2017

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