Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Massachusetts punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years.
Therefore, when you get pulled over for a suspected DUI, it’s important to know how to handle the situation responsibly in order to better safeguard against criminal charges. It is normal for you to feel frightened and intimidated by law enforcement, but you should know that you have rights. Here are some things you should remember when you are pulled over by law enforcement.
Staying calm and complying with the officer is important
When you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, remaining calm and composed is crucial. Pull over safely to the side of the road, signaling your intention to the officer. Once you have stopped, turn off your vehicle’s engine and roll down your window.
Keep your hands visible on the steering wheel to show the officer that you pose no threat. And if you need to reach for something, such as your license or registration, notify the officer and move slowly to not cause any alarm.
Respect and cooperation go a long way
Law enforcement officers have a challenging job, and treating them with respect and cooperation can go a long way. Aside from avoiding sudden movements or reaching for items unless explicitly asked, you should also answer the officer’s questions politely and concisely. Provide necessary information, such as your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Police officers are more likely to show leniency towards respectful motorists.
You have rights, and you should invoke them
While being cooperative is essential, being aware of your rights is equally important. Remember that you have the right to remain silent if you’re arrested and you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself. It’s advisable to exercise this right and avoid volunteering unnecessary information or admitting to any wrongdoing.
Getting pulled over for a DUI is a serious matter requiring care and precaution. You can handle the situation more effectively by staying calm and cooperating with law enforcement. You should remember that you have the right to criminal defense and invoke it when needed.