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How to React to a DUI Traffic Stop 

Posted on in DUI Defense

How to React to a DUI Traffic Stop It is never an enjoyable experience to look in your rearview mirror and see the flashing lights of a law enforcement officer behind your vehicle. The experience is markedly less enjoyable if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Still, when it comes to DUI cases, your actions during the traffic stop can make all the difference in whether you are ultimately convicted or not. With that in mind, it is important to understand how to react to a DUI traffic stop. 

Safety First

When you see police lights behind your vehicle, you are instructed to pull over to the right shoulder of the lane as soon as possible. Unfortunately, things are not always that simple. It is important to avoid pulling your vehicle over on bridges, sharp turns in the roadway, up against guard rails with limited shoulder space, or in any location where it may be possible to be struck by passing traffic. As the officer approaches the vehicle, remain calm and keep your hands on the wheel. Any sudden movement (such as exiting the vehicle) could be viewed as an act of aggression. Willingness to adhere to the safety principles of a traffic stop will not only decrease any chance of injury but also showcase your ability to cognitively react to the situation, potentially helping your case. 

Understand Your Rights

Once the law enforcement officer begins speaking with you, it is important to maintain a balance between cooperation and exercising your rights. If the acting officer believes there is probable cause that you may be intoxicated, they are mandated to request chemical testing. The officer will likely tell you that refusing to take part in the test will result in a loss of driving privileges, but refusal may, in fact, be your best option. A DUI conviction is at the bare minimum a Class A misdemeanor and will result in significant fines. While refusing to take part in chemical testing will result in a license revocation of one year, it is not a criminal offense and thus will not show up on your permanent record. Recognizing your rights in a DUI traffic stop can be paramount to avoiding a criminal conviction. 

Remember the Actions of the Officer

While it can be challenging to closely follow the actions of a law enforcement official as you go through a traffic stop, it is important to be able to convey their actions to your attorney. The case may be thrown out in court if:

  • The police officer was unable to cite a violation for pulling you over.
  • The officer physically forced you to take part in a field sobriety test or chemical testing.

Your ability to recollect the events of the arrest can set up your attorney with a comprehensive defense strategy. 

Contact a DuPage County DUI Defense Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we are prepared to do everything in our power to help you avoid a DUI conviction. The first steps we will take will revolve around gaining an understanding of your arrest process. We will work directly with you in developing a defense strategy aimed to help you avoid a conviction. If a conviction is unavoidable, we will guide you through the license reinstatement process and get you back on the road. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled Oak Brook criminal defense attorney, call us today at 630-953-4400. 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

DuPage County Bar Association Top 100 Illinois State Bar Association AVVO Rating Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association AVVO Reviews
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