What to Do When You See Lights

Get a Bakersfield DUI Attorney on Your Side

After a night out drinking, the last thing you want to see are flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. If you should ever be pulled over after a night out on the town, it is imperative that you remain calm and be aware of your rights. What you say and do during this time can have a tremendous impact on your situation and your likelihood of being arrested.

Are you facing DUI charges? Contact a Bakersfield DUI attorney from our firm today!

1. Pull Over Safely

If a police officer is following behind you with their lights on, pull over promptly and in a safe manner. Once you have stopped in a safe location, roll your windows down to let any odors of alcohol escape. Turn on your cabin light, and keep your hands on the steering wheel. If an officer has decided to pull you over, they must have a suitable reason. Most often, this is due to a mechanical defect such as a busted tail light or a missing side view mirror. Keeping your vehicle in a properly maintained condition can reduce your risk of being pulled over in the first place.

Do not reach for your license and registration until the officer has approached your window and asks you to present them. Stay calm, and be courteous. If you are belligerent with the officer, it could be seen as a sign of inebriation and can increase your chances of winding up in cuffs.

2. Stay Silent

When you are pulled over, you are considered to be “detained.” You may not leave, but you are not in an officer’s custody at this time. Since you are not under arrest at this time, an officer may ask several incriminating questions without reading you your Miranda rights. Other than providing your basic information, you do not have to answer any questions that an officer may ask.

An officer may ask the following probing questions:

  • “Where are you coming from?”
  • “Do you know why I stopped you?”
  • “Have you been drinking?”
  • “Do you feel the effects of alcohol?”

While it is against the law to lie to a police officer, you have every right to stay silent under the Fifth Amendment. Law enforcement officials know the law well, and they know how to steer a conversation in a direction that can incriminate you. Answering their questions can only hurt you, as anything you say can later be used against you in court.

3. If Asked, Step Out of Your Vehicle

If an officer should ask you to get out of your car, you must comply. Police can look inside your vehicle, but only from the exterior. In order to search the inside of your car, they must either receive your permission or have a search warrant. If the officer asks to search your car, respectfully decline.

Oftentimes, making statements will be the next stage in the traffic stop. It is possible, however, that an officer will make the decision to arrest you at this time. If you should ever be arrested for DUI, it is imperative that you get a hard-hitting legal team on your side who can protect your rights. At Campbell Whitten, our Bakersfield DUI lawyers have handled more than 10,000 cases and can use their extensive legal expertise to tear apart the prosecution’s claims. No matter the circumstances of your case, our firm is committed to doing everything within our power to defend your freedom and are prepared to go the extra mile to resolve your legal issue.

To find out more about how we can help, call our office today at (661) 735-1038.