If your vehicle has been pulled over by a law enforcement officer on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, what you do next can have a significant impact on the outcome of the stop and the outcome of a criminal case if you do end up getting arrested. Here’s what you should do if you’re stopped by a police officer in Maryland while driving your car.
Remain Calm and Keep Your Hands Where the Officer Can See Them
Your demeanor during the traffic stop can make or break it. Stay calm and don’t be belligerent or aggressive with the officer who pulled you over. Be polite and make sure the officer can see your hands at all times by keeping them on the steering wheel of your car, usually in the 10:00 and 2:00 position.
Ask Permission to Get Your License and Registration
Do not reach for your license or registration until the officer asks for you to provide them. Inform the officer where they are located in the vehicle before removing your hands from the vehicle and wait until the officer gives you the okay to retrieve them. Remember that officers are armed and reaching for something in your vehicle may cause them to assume that you are reaching for a weapon.
Do Not Answer Any Questions
You do not have to answer questions asked by the police other than to confirm your identity. You can — and should — answer with “no comment” or similar if you are asked where you came from, where you were going, how much you’ve had to drink, etc.
Do Not Submit to a Field Sobriety Test
You are not legally required to submit to a field sobriety test. Politely let the officer know that you are aware of your rights and do not agree to take the test. The officer may pressure you or make you believe that you are breaking the law, but this is not true. Stay calm and continue to decline requests for field sobriety testing.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were arrested after being pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, it’s critical that you get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your rights and future are on the line, and a seasoned attorney can help you protect them. Contact Richard Brueckner today for a consultation at 410-430-1464.