Driving under the influence is one of Colorado’s more common criminal offenses. However, it is essential to understand that DUI is not a minor crime. A conviction for drunk driving can have far-reaching legal and personal consequences.
When the police have reason to believe that you are intoxicated while behind the wheel, they have probable cause to pull you over and conduct further investigation. It is essential to understand that your DUI case begins immediately. What you do or do not do during the DUI stop can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
Here are two common mistakes you want to avoid during a potential DUI stop.
Refusing to stop
There may be the impulse to flee when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Nonetheless, it is in your best interest to pull over when the officer asks that you do so. Ignoring a lawful order to stop amounts to eluding the police, and this can lead to more charges in an already serious situation. Besides the DUI that the police already suspected, you will face additional charges. Actions that can amount to eluding police include:
- Speeding up or trying to outrun the police
- Turning off your headlights with the hope that the police won’t identify you
- Evasive driving, like weaving in and out of traffic
You’ve probably heard the adage, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” When interacting with the police, it is crucial to understand that a different set of rules apply to what you can and cannot say. For instance, you must identify yourself to law enforcement when they ask you to do so. Being rude or insulting them will not help your case. Instead, defendants will better serve their best interests if they politely provide their name, license, and insurance. It is also helpful to cooperate without doing or saying anything to incriminate you. If they persist with questions, inform them that you are not ready to give a statement without your legal counsel.
Don’t make matters worse
Mistakes happen. However, not all mistakes are created equal. Knowing your legal rights and obligations can help safeguard your best interests during a stop.