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What to do if you are suspected of drunk driving

Even if you understand the seriousness of drinking and driving, there may come a day when you let your good time get the best of you. Rather than control your drinking or call for a ride, you jump behind the wheel and assume you are “sober enough” to reach your destination.

If you make this mistake, there is always a chance an officer could spot your vehicle and pull you over.

This is what you should do if you are pulled over:

  • Move to safety as soon as possible: This is not a time to continue driving as if nothing is happening. The officer wants you to immediately move to the side of the road. By putting on your hazard lights, you acknowledge to the officer that you see him or her.
  • Wait where you are: Do not get out of your vehicle, take off your seat belt or start grabbing for your license and registration. Put your hands on the steering wheel, wait for the officer to arrive and then follow his or her instructions.
  • Be polite: You do not have to go overboard, but it is critical that you remain respectful and polite as you are discussing the situation with the officer. If you become aggressive or condescending to the officer, it will raise suspicions and all but guarantee that you will find yourself in trouble.
  • Do not say too much: If you are asked a potentially incriminating question, think about how much information you will share. It is best to keep your answers short and to the point. Saying too much could result in your arrest. Remember, you always have the right to remain silent.
  • Stay calm if the officer puts you under arrest: This is the last thing you want to happen, but it is a possibility if you have been drinking. Stay calm, do not say anything the officer could use against you in court, and follow instructions.

If you take these steps after being pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving, you improve your chances of avoiding an arrest or conviction.

If you are arrested, contact an experienced attorney.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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