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Reacting to a DUI Traffic Stop

Posted on in DUI Defense

Reacting to a DUI Traffic StopEvery year, more than 20,000 people in Illinois are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. In a significant percentage of those cases, the party arrested is ultimately convicted of driving under the influence. While many people assume that a conviction is inevitable after they have been pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, that is factually incorrect. In reality, your actions while and after being pulled over can dramatically impact the likelihood of a conviction. Below we will examine how you should react to a DUI traffic stop. 

Steps You Should Take During a Traffic Stop

Seeing red and blue lights behind your vehicle is no enjoyable experience, but your ability to have some emotional fortitude can be the ultimate difference between potential jail-time and no criminal charges at all. Here are a few steps you should take during the arrest process. 

  1. Pull Over Safely: The worst thing you can do as you are getting pulled over is to make the situation worse by pulling over in an unsafe manner. Pulling over at high speeds can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and potentially lead to an accident. Pulling over on a blind turn or on a bridge can make it more difficult for other vehicles to avoid you and the officer. If you pull over in an unsafe manner, not only are you putting yourself in danger, but you are likely prompting more suspicion from the officer. 
  2. Do Not Panic: Remaining calm is one of the most important things you can do during a traffic stop. Panicking will likely lead to perspiration or tremors, which can lead to suspicions of illegal activity from the officer. Most importantly, though, panic can lead to erratic or aggressive behavior, limiting your ability to fight against a charge in court. Keep your emotions in check and let your attorney do the rest. 
  3. Understand Your Rights: If an officer asks for you to take a breath test, you have the right to decline. If an officer tells you that you would be breaking the law by not taking the test, they are either deceiving you or unaware of the laws in Illinois. While declining a breath test will result in loss of driving privileges for one year, it is not a criminal offense. Understanding your rights can be the most important step you take during a DUI traffic stop. 
  4. Try to Remember the Events: If you are in fact arrested by an officer, it is important to be able to analyze the arrest process with your attorney. If the officer forced you to give a breath sample, was verbally or physically abusive, or failed to read you your Miranda rights prior to questioning in police custody, your attorney will have a strong defense case in court. 

Contact an Oak Brook DUI Defense Attorney

At McMahon Law Offices, we understand just how traumatic a DUI stop can be. Whether you have been mistreated or charged with a DUI, it is time to seek out quality legal assistance. Our attorneys are dedicated to building a quality defense case for all of our clients, in the hopes of avoiding a conviction. If a conviction is ultimately unavoidable, we will do everything in our power to lessen the charges and help you regain your driving privileges as soon as possible. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County 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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