1. Be Polite
If you’re ever pulled over by a police officer for any reason, the best course of action is always to be polite. If you are polite and well-mannered, an officer is more likely to cut you slack. If you are stopped for a DUI, being polite to the officer may convince them that you are not drunk. In some cases the officer may even let you go with a warning, if you are young enough or if you have a clean driving record. It doesn’t work every time, but being polite can’t hurt your chances. In fact, if you do end up having to fight your DUI in court, it will help.
2. Question the Stop
Why exactly were you pulled over? For a traffic stop to be valid, the officer must witness you violating the rules of the road. Simply weaving in your lane or acting “suspicious” is not cause enough to justify a stop. If the officer who pulled you over cannot properly justify doing so, your entire DUI may be thrown out on the grounds that all evidence of it was illegally procured.
3. Consult a DUI Attorney
DUI attorneys are irreplaceable if you should find yourself going to court. They have the experience and knowledge you need to get your case overturned. A lawyer who is experience with DUI cases is highly likely prove you innocent, or at least to mitigate the charges if it comes to that. Even if you aren’t innocent, a good lawyer can have the case against you dropped based on your character and the character of your arresting officer, as well as other factors.
4. Challenge the Tests
There are a myriad of ways officers can mess up the administration of field sobriety tests. There are only three tests that officially comprise the Standardized Field Sobriety Test and they are the Walk-and-Turn, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, and the One-Leg Stand. An officer may not judge you to be intoxicated based on the results of any physical test other than these. Asking you to recite the alphabet backwards, for example, is not enough testing to haul you in for a DUI. Breathalyzer tests, though supposedly infallible, can also be challenged. With expert testimony from someone who knows the margin of error on the particular model of breathalyzer, and evidence that asserts the officer may have incorrectly calibrated the test or failed to calibrate it at all, it’s possible to get even breathalyzer results thrown out.
5. Check Out Your Officer
While not always helpful, you can greatly improve your position by researching the officer who pulled you over. If they have a history of misconduct it can be a handy piece of information to have in court. Using a police officer’s faulty history can form the foundation of reasonable doubt. Did the officer pull you over because you were drunk, or because they have a quota to fill? Placing this seed of doubt in a judge’s mind will give you much better chances of escaping your DUI altogether.