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3 crucial don’ts when navigating a DUI Stop in Colorado

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | DUI and DWAI Charges |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can result in significant consequences. While getting pulled over can be stressful, staying calm and knowing your rights can make a big difference in the outcome of this scenario.

Whether you’re trying to learn about your rights proactively, you’ve been pulled over for suspicion of DUI or you have already been arrested, it’s crucial to understand the actions you should avoid to help prevent escalating your charges and potentially facing harsher penalties than you might otherwise.

Don’t incriminate yourself: Silence is golden

You have the right to remain silent, and this right is especially important during a DUI stop. This doesn’t mean you can be rude or disrespectful, but it does mean you shouldn’t answer any questions beyond providing your basic identification, registration and proof of insurance.

Officers may try to engage you in conversation to gather evidence. Avoid admitting to drinking alcohol or discussing the quantity you’ve consumed. Even seemingly innocent statements like “I only had a couple of drinks” can be used against you.

You don’t have to participate in field sobriety tests (SFSTs)

Standardized Field sobriety tests are roadside maneuvers designed to assess impairment. However, these tests can be subjective and unreliable, especially on uneven terrain or if you have certain medical conditions. In Colorado, SFSTs are voluntary. If the officer asks you to perform one, politely decline and state that you would prefer not to participate.

Don’t consent to warrantless searches of your vehicle

Did you know that the Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures? Generally, officers need a warrant to search your car. They may ask for your permission, but you have the right to refuse. Unless the officer has probable cause (such as smelling alcohol or seeing open alcohol containers), they cannot search your vehicle without a warrant.

By understanding your rights and avoiding these three missteps, you can more effectively protect yourself and potentially minimize the consequences of your circumstances. If you do end up arrested, involving a legal team can help ensure your rights are safeguarded as you work to build a strong defense strategy.