The lights go on. The siren sounds. You look into your rearview mirror and you see a Denver Police squad car. With a glance, you check your speedometer. You weren’t speeding, so why are you being pulled over? It’s then that the thought occurs to you: that drink you had just before leaving the office get-together after work. Will the officer be able to smell alcohol on you?
You pull your car over and wait for a few moments for the officer to come up and speak with you. Questions are running through your mind: what should I do now? What are my options? Will I get arrested for DUI?
An attorney writing on the subject of what to do during a DUI stop makes an excellent point: the police officer is almost certainly going to ask you incriminating questions. These questions can include queries such as “Have you been drinking alcohol?” “How many drinks did you have?” “Can you feel the effects of the alcohol?” And so on.
Even though the officer isn’t likely to advise you of your Fifth Amendment rights, you can still decline to incriminate yourself by answering questions about drinking, how you feel, where you were, etc. Please remember that you must give the officer your Colorado driver’s license, registration and proof of auto insurance.
Just to recap: you can decline (it’s best to do this politely) to answer questions about drinking. You cannot decline to show your license, registration and insurance card.
The officer is also likely to ask you to take a sobriety test. The test is voluntary (something the office might not mention). You can, again, politely decline to take the test.
As the attorney who wrote the article states, “Even an Olympic gymnast probably couldn’t perform the field sobriety tests to an officer’s satisfaction.” The test results are subjective. If the officer is inclined to make an arrest, the officer can use any stumble, sign of nervousness, etc., against you and decide you have “failed” the test.
Last but not least: if you are arrested for DUI, you have the right to be represented by a Denver attorney who understands the law better than any police officer; someone who has experience successfully defending clients in negotiations and at trial.