As shocked as you might be when you are pulled over by the police for suspicion of drunk driving, it’s important that you keep calm and avoid doing something that could jeopardize your case before it even starts. Because anyone can be pulled over at any time, we believe everyone should know what to do and what not to do at a DUI stop.

What NOT to Do When You Are Stopped for DUI

Police Car Pulling Over Another VehiclePeople—particularly innocent people—tend to do the exact things they should not do when they are confronted by the police. It is human nature to try to protect yourself, but anger, excuses, and defensiveness usually do more harm than good. If at all possible, it is best to avoid the following:

  1. Talking too much. Beyond identifying yourself, there is nothing else you need to say to a police officer before you have talked to a lawyer, especially if you have been drinking. You will not be able to talk your way out of anything, and you could harm your defense if you say too much or say the wrong things.
  2. Being uncooperative. While you shouldn’t spill your guts, you also should not be belligerent or difficult. Do what you are asked to do and nothing more.
  3. Refusing a breathalyzer. When you applied for your Virginia driver’s license, you gave consent for future breathalyzer tests. Even if you are later found innocent of drunk driving, you could lose your license for a year if you refuse a BAC test. 
  4. Assuming you’ll get off with a warning. Not taking the arrest seriously is a big mistake. Even if it’s the first time you have ever been pulled over, you should treat it as if your freedom and your livelihood are at stake—because they are.
  5. Forgetting important details. Write down everything that happened during your arrest as soon as you can. This includes what you had to drink, how the traffic stop happened, what you said to the officer, what the officer said to you, how he treated you, what tests you were given, and any other detail you can recall. This documentation could be important to your defense.
  6. Waiting to call a lawyer. Call a DUI defense lawyer at your first opportunity. These cases tend to progress quickly through the judicial system and you want to have a lawyer on your side from the beginning.
  7. Calling the wrong lawyer. Do not call your divorce lawyer, your estate planning firm, or your brother who is an attorney in another state. You are being charged with a crime, so you need a criminal defense attorney who handles DUI cases in Virginia.

Call James E. Short, PLC

In the Chesapeake area, do not hesitate to call Attorney James E. Short when you have been charged with DUI. With decades of DUI defense experience behind him, he is the smart choice for securing the best possible outcome. Call our office as soon as possible after your arrest.


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