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5 things you should know about traffic stops

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Drunk Driving

While many people are aware that police can pull over a driver, they are often unaware of what happens during one and what their rights are.

Here are a few things you should be aware of during a traffic stop:

1. The police need reasonable suspicion

In most cases, the police would need reasonable suspicion before they do a traffic stop. Reasonable suspicion means that an officer believes that someone has committed or will commit a crime. For a DUI traffic stop, for example, an officer may notice that a driver is swerving between lanes, running a red light or speeding, and that can be enough for reasonable suspicion.

2. You don’t have to answer police questions

The police will likely ask the driver to show their driver’s license and car registration. Furthermore, the police may ask the driver several questions, such as where they were or if the driver was drinking. You, however, can plead the Fifth and refuse to answer questions.

3. You can refuse to take a field sobriety test

A field sobriety test is a physical examination the police often use to determine how drunk drivers are. For example, the police may test a driver’s balance or vision with these tests. You can refuse a field sobriety test without suffering from penalties.

4. Refusing a chemical test could lead to penalties

Alternatively, the police may use a chemical breath test to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the driver refuses, they could be charged with license suspension, fees and imprisonment under implied consent laws.

5. There’s no proven way to trick a breath test

Drinking coffee, using mouthwash and sucking on a penny to pass a breath test are all common drunk driving myths. But, there’s likely nothing that can do this, and some tricks that may increase a BAC reading. 

If you’re facing a DUI charge, then you may need to learn about your legal defense options.