What to do if you get pulled over for a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Drunk Driving Charges

St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated with parades, green attire and the consumption of green beer. As a result of the widespread understanding that St. Patrick’s Day is a “drinking holiday,” law enforcement agencies typically increase patrols and checkpoints to prevent drunk driving on the 17th of March, raising the chances of DUI stops. 

If you find yourself pulled over on St. Patrick’s Day under suspicion of DUI, how you respond can significantly impact the outcome of your situation. As such, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind, just in case a misstep or misunderstanding leads to a traffic stop on your way home from a celebration. 

Stay calm

The moment you notice flashing lights signaling you to pull over, do so safely and promptly. Remain calm. Keep your hands visible, typically on the steering wheel, to avoid any perception of a threat. You cannot guarantee how an officer will respond to you, but you can do everything possible to stay safe. 

Know your rights

You are required to provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. You are not obligated to provide information that could incriminate you. Calmly decline to answer questions about where you’ve been, whether you’ve been drinking or how much you’ve consumed.

You are also not legally required to participate in field sobriety tests, and you can decline to participate in them if asked. These tests can be subjective and failing them can add to the evidence against you. 

If you’re arrested, don’t resist

If the officer decides to arrest you for DUI, comply with the instructions without resistance or argument. Resisting arrest can lead to additional charges and complicate your case. Remember, compliance is not an admission of guilt. Also, know that refusing a breathalyzer test post-arrest can result in immediate legal consequences, such as license suspension, due to implied consent laws. 

After an arrest, you have the right to remain silent, and it’s advisable to exercise this right. Calmly inform the officer that you will not answer questions before an attorney is present. This can prevent you from saying something that may adversely affect your case.

Being pulled over for a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day can be a daunting experience, but knowing how to handle the situation can make a significant difference in your efforts to drive away from the scene unharmed and legally free to go.

National College for DUI Defense | General Member

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