Getting pulled over is a stressful situation as it is, but if you are under the influence, the situation is even worse. Not many people are very informed about what to do when you are pulled over for a DUI in Massachusetts, mainly because nobody expects it to happen to them. But, it is important to know what to do and what your rights are in the situation. Although you may be in the wrong, you still have rights that can help you out if you are not above the legal limit.
When pulled over, there are certain actions that many people take that can hurt themselves in the end. When the officer pulls you over, make sure to pull to the side of the road and stay inside of your vehicle. Stay calm and don’t act suspicious when the officer comes over. Make sure to keep your hands visible and don’t say anything you will regret. Be polite. Watch your actions as well, because most police vehicles are equipped with visual recording devices. If you get a ticket and/or get arrested, whatever you say or do can and will be held against you when brought to court.
When the officer asks you a question or to do something, think carefully before answering. The way that you respond can either hurt or help you. For example, when the officer asks how much you have had to drink, think about how you want to answer that. Most people say something along the lines of “just a few with dinner,” but that is underestimating how much you’ve had and can be used in court when found that you have had more. The best idea is to say that you don’t know exactly how many you have had, or be specific if you can, so you aren’t lying about the amount you drank.
Field Sobriety Tests
When asked by the officer to take the field sobriety test, you don’t have to take it. This is an optional test that, if you believe you will fail, you don’t have to put yourself through it. Some people just don’t have good balance and wouldn’t be able to take the test in the daylight with walls on either side. You have to take a form of a BAC test anyways, so you would be better off just rejecting to take the field sobriety test. If you aren’t intoxicated, it may look bad that you failed this test and make them more suspicious of you actually drinking and driving.
When the officer asks to check your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), there are three options. The officer can choose between a breath, blood, or urine test. The breathalyzer can be used on the side of the road, and you would need to be brought to the closest hospital to complete the blood or urine test. Now, you can refuse either of these tests, but make sure you know what you are doing before you refuse. There are consequential charges for refusing to take a BAC test. You shouldn’t rely on this as a way of getting away with a DUI because the court may find that you refused the test because you knew you wouldn’t pass and charge you with a DUI on top of the refusal charges.
A DUI isn’t something that someone plans to get pulled over for, but you should always be prepared for any situation. By knowing these few tips about your rights when pulled over, you may save yourself someday. If you do come to that point that you are pulled over for a DUI, make sure that you contact the lawyers at Revelli & Luzzo, P.C., located in Worcester, MA. We can help you out if you were wrongly charged or would like some advice on how to handle the situation.