No one intends to be detained for driving under the influence, but it is an unfortunate repercussion of poor decision making. The best way for individuals to avoid being charged with DUI is to refrain from drinking before they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, there are also several other decisions that they make during a traffic stop that could prevent them from being charged with DUI or at least lessen their charges. Keep in mind, you can talk to a DUI Lawyer in Newton, NJ with additional questions.
Stay Calm and Polite
Drivers who are pulled over should remain calm and polite when the officers ask them questions about how much they had to drink before driving. Their answers become part of the police record, so they have to keep in mind that being caught lying may increase their chances of being detained and charged with DUI. For example, it does not sound like they are being honest if they tell the officers that they only had one drink but fail a sobriety test afterward. No matter what, they should not argue or get defensive with the officers.
Be Ready With Updated Documents
During the traffic stop, drivers should smoothly and calmly pass their driver’s license, insurance card and vehicle registration to the officers upon request. The officers will watch them closely because they must have a certain degree of suspicion before they administer a field sobriety test. Planning ahead and having these items ready at all times could reduce their suspicion.
Comply With On-Site Breath Tests
If the officers ask that the drivers submit to a Breathalyzer to determine their blood alcohol content, they should comply. New Jersey is an implied consent state, so drivers give their consent to a Breathalyzer when they obtain their driver’s license. Although they can ask for a more reliable test, the officers have the authority to charge them for refusing to take the roadside test.
Submit to Field Sobriety Tests
Officers are allowed to ask drivers to exit their vehicles for any traffic stop. The officers will look for if they smell of alcohol, have bloodshot eyes or show other signs of a high BAC. It is best for the drivers to maintain eye contact while they calmly exit their cars. If the officers ask them to perform field sobriety tests, the drivers have the right to request changes that could make them more successful. For instance, they can ask for changes if the ground is uneven or they are wearing difficult footwear. Even if the officers refuse their requests, their concerns are at least on record if they end up in court.