When the police stop and suspect you of DUI, there are several questions they will immediately ask. The police usually use the initial questions to identify you, and these you need to answer. But for any questions beyond that, you should invoke your Fifth Amendment —the right to remain silent and ask to call a DUI attorney. There are numerous advantages to doing so. Here are a few of them.
Many people need to realize that some of the most solid evidence the police have in a DUI stop is not always the breathalyzer test but statements from the accused. Some of the questions the police may ask you after they stop you include:
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- Have you been drinking?
- How many drinks have you had?
If the officer suspects you have been drinking based on your answers, your physical appearance, or due to the smell of alcohol on your breath, they may proceed to test for impairment.
You have the right to respectfully decline to answer any of these questions that may shed any negative light on you. One of the primary purposes behind the Fifth Amendment is to protect you from self-incrimination.
For example, if you choose to answer the officer's questions. You may state you are coming from a celebration at a local bar for your co-worker, where you only had two beers, and you are now on your way home.
If arrested, the police will record your answers in their report. The report will be entered as evidence when your case comes to court.
Reduces Behavior And Body Language
Another critical reason to remain silent is to avoid giving away too many details. Unfortunately, these details are not just in your words, but are also in your behavior and body language.
When you remain silent, you are less likely to demonstrate some behaviors associated with alcohol use. These include slurring your words, getting loud, or being combative. Many times people under the influence also tend to want to "explain" or will begin to babble. These explanations can also provide the police with additional information they can use against you.
Unfortunately, even if you remain silent, the police may still arrest you. At this time, the police will read you your Miranda Rights, and you can invoke your right to call your DUI lawyer. You can also then tell the police that your attorney will answer any other questions they have.