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“What Should I Do If I Get Pulled Over for a DUI?”


Based on my over 40 years experience as a DUI lawyer in LA, here are some suggested things to do—and not do— if the overhead lightes are behind you:

  1. Stay calm, use your turn signal, and pull over. Use your turn signal and carefully pull over to the side of the road. Stay in the car and keep your hands on the wheel, and calmly wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. Greet the officer courteously, and do not act as if you have anything to hide or have done anything wrong.
  2. Keep your driver’s license and registration in easy reach. Know where your license, registration and insurance documents are, and be able to extract them quickly and easily when asked, without fumbling. Officers are trained to look for a lack of fine muscle control and manual dexterity.
  3. When an officer asks if you’ve been drinking… Don’t lie and say that you haven’t, and don’t think that being candid about having “just a few beers” will work in your favor. Instead, ask for a DUI attorney and politely refuse to answer any questions based on your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Be polite and cooperative, but do not provide any further information.
  4. If the officer orders you out of the car, ask him if there has been a violation, and explain that you would like to be cited so that you can continue on your way. If he again orders you out of the car, ask whether you are being detained. If s/he says yes, tell him/her you would like to have a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney, and then do as the officer instructs. Be careful not to trip or stumble when you get out.
  5. If asked to take a field sobriety test, say they are too subjective and you are nervous. However, before you take the test, inform the officer of any physical ailments you have, such as problems with your knees or ankles. Tell the officer that you are nervous or anxious. Don’t worry about the field test results. A good DUI attorney has strategies for discrediting field tests and disallowing them as evidence at trial.
  6. If asked to take a breath test at the scene, don’t take it. Per Vehicle Code §23612, you are not required to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. Blood tests are better for your Los Angeles DUI defense attorney because the officer will not know the results (which keeps the officer honest). Further, a blood test is better for an experienced attorney to defend.
  7. Drive safely! Don’t give the police a reason to pull you over in the first place! Always be careful and focused when behind the wheel. Don’t fool around with passengers, use your cell phone, or let yourself get distracted. Don’t create “reasonable suspicion” for an officer to pull you over in the first place!

Contact me directly to discuss the details of your case with a trusted DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. I win “Not Guilty” verdicts — all charges dismissed — in over 90% of my DUI jury trials… even in cases involving prior convictions, accidents, high blood alcohol levels, and BAC test refusals.