Police are on the lookout for drivers who aren’t following the rules of the road. Taking this one step further, if they have reason to believe you’re under the influence of alcohol, it won’t be long before you find yourself pulled to the side of the road.

If you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI, it’s important that you take every step you can to protect your legal rights. Here’s a basic outline of what you should do:

  • Quickly pull to a safe place: Once you realize the officer is stopping your vehicle, quickly find a safe place to park. For example, if you’re on the highway, search for a safe place on the shoulder of the road.
  • Put your hands on the wheel and stay in your vehicle: Don’t become so anxious that you begin to shuffle around the cabin or open your door to confront the officer. Not only does this look suspicious, but the officer may assume they’re in danger.
  • Don’t say too much: You may have an idea of why the officer pulled you over, but you shouldn’t admit to such. If asked if you know what you did wrong, a simple “no” is the best answer. The more you say, the more likely you are of slipping up.
  • Don’t resist arrest: As the officer digs deeper, they may eventually come to the conclusion that you’re under the influence of alcohol. For example, this could result from a failed field sobriety test. If you’re put under arrest, keep calm and follow directions. Resisting or talking back won’t make things any better. In fact, it can result in additional criminal charges, which only complicates your case.

DUI charges are very serious, as a conviction can result in a large fine, license suspension and even jail time.

As scared as you may be, DUI charges don’t always result in a conviction. There are a variety of defense strategies you can use to protect your legal rights. Implementing the right one will go a long way in protecting you, while also putting you in the best position possible to avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.