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What happens when you're pulled over for DUI?

It can happen any night of the week. But tonight, Friday night, and tomorrow, Saturday night, are the two most likely evenings on which you might find yourself looking in the rearview mirror and seeing lit-up Denver police car lights.

Most people when pulled over feel a rush of adrenaline and apprehension. It's pretty normal to feel these things when it's Friday night, you've had a drink or two, and you know the police are out looking for drunk driving violations. But you take a deep breath, pull your vehicle over, roll down your window and wait for the officer to begin asking questions.

You'll be asked to show your driver's license and proof of auto insurance, and while you're responding, the officer will be looking at you for possible signs of impairment. If the officer believes you might be impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two, you'll be asked to perform a roadside sobriety test.

These standardized tests involve a check of your eye movement, your dexterity, your ability to follow simple commands and so on. If you fail the sobriety test, you might well be handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car at this point. Or you might be asked "to provide a sample of blood, breath, saliva or urine to determine any alcohol or drug content," a state website states.

If you refuse the test, your driver's license can be suspended for at least a year, regardless of whether you're convicted of DUI or not.

Again, you might be placed under arrest at this point. When advised of your right to be silent and have an attorney present during questioning, it makes a lot of sense to exercise this protective right.

In that way, you can speak to a DUI defense attorney about the charges, circumstances and available legal options, as well as ask questions about the coming procedures and hearings in court and at the DMV. This is the moment when your defense begins.

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