Let's get one thing straight. People: Don't drink and drive. Just don't to it. It is dangerous for you, it is illegal, and most importantly, it is dangerous for everyone else on the road. Please drink responsibly and, if you don't, be an adult and call for a ride-share or a cab.
That being said, sometimes we make bad, dangerous, and even illegal choices and have to man/woman up and deal with the consequences. If your friends ditch you and let you drive under the influence, or you are too drunk to know what is happening and you get behind the wheel anyway, you are opening yourself up to a host of dangers in addition to a DUI/OWI.
If you do happen to get pulled over for a DUI/OWI, here are 5 things to keep in mind:
1. Pull Over Quickly And Stay In Your Car
Your driving has already been unsafe and police officers probably used a few of these cues to detect your drunk driving. If a cop flashes his/her lights at you and you know you are being pulled over, move to the side of the road as quickly and safely as possible. Once you have come to a complete stop, shut your car off, put your hands on the wheel, and take off any glasses/hats/hoods you may be wearing. No matter what, do not get out of your car unless specifically asked by an officer.
2. Be Polite To Law Enforcement
Misbehaving, cursing at police, using force, running, or disobeying orders is sure to get you into hot water and won't help your case at all. Being pulled over for a possible DUI/OWI is scary, especially if you know you have been under the influence and will probably be caught. You know what is worse? Acting out against law enforcement or being unnecessarily uncooperative.
Please be respectful to police officers and follow directions, but this doesn't mean that you have to incriminate yourself. If you forget what the 5th Amendment is even about let me break it down right quick. The 5th Amendment is your right to remain silent and your right to keep your mouth shut about anything that can incriminate you in the future.
4. Understand that Being Candid Most Likely Won't Help You
Law enforcement obviously had a reason for pulling you over so insisting that you had “just one mixed drink” probably won't get you very far. Telling the police the amount of alcohol you had most likely won't help you case because they have “been around the block” and have learned not to believe you anyway. Do comply with questions, but don't offer any unnecessary information concerning where you came from, who you were with, and how many drinks you have consumed.
5. Stay Calm When Getting Arrested
Even if you follow all of these steps, chances are you are still going to get arrested and pay the price of driving under the influence. Being put into police custody, especially if you are still drunk, can be a scary experience but staying calm is a must. Respectfully request legal representation when speaking with the police, and remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.
Of course, the only way to ensure that you don't receive a DUI/OWI is to be a safe and responsible adult who doesn't drink and drive. Good luck out there and make smart choices!