Drunk Driving in New Jersey
Have you had anything to drink tonight?
This question seems benign, but it’s not so great to hear after being pulled over by a police officer. What should you do when you’ve been pulled over and accused of driving under the influence?
Should you plead your innocence or take the sobriety test? What about the breathalyzer? Find out what to do if you get stopped for a DUI or DWI below.
1. Remain Calm
There’s no shame in getting nervous during a traffic stop, but you must contain your feelings and remain calm. Do your best to listen to the officer’s words and follow his or her commands. If you’re acting overly nervous, then the officer may see that as reasonable suspicion that you’re doing something wrong. It could even lead him to believe you’ve been drinking when you haven’t. Show respect whenever possible. Pull over to a safe spot and prepare yourself for the stop.
2. Tell the Truth but Don’t Incriminate Yourself
What should you do if a cop asks you about your drinking habits? As you answer the officer’s questions, try to remain as truthful as you can. Keep in mind that you have a right not to answer any questions that would incriminate yourself. Here’s a list of the information you are obligated to provide to the officer:
- Your name
- Your driver’s license
- Your vehicle’s registration
- Proof of car insurance
Anything more that you say is completely voluntary, so it can also be used as evidence against you. If you don’t feel comfortable saying anything about what you’ve had to drink, then say something like:
“I’m sorry, officer. I’ve been advised not to answer any questions.”
You do have the right not to answer but doing so won’t protect you from getting hauled off to jail. If you won’t answer an officer, then they might decide to move on to a field sobriety test. You’ll have to use your best discernment to decide how to handle a DUI situation.
3. To Take the Test or Not to Take the Test
You’re under no legal obligation to take a sobriety test. Refusing to comply, though, could result in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license. Complying could result in an immediate arrest. It’s proven that handheld breathalyzers are inaccurate, and you’re also not obligated to submit to it. If you do get taken to the station, then the police may ask you to take a chemical test. You must comply at that point.
Contact an Experienced Summit DWI Defense Attorney About Your Drunk Driving Charges in New Jersey
Have you been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in New Jersey? A drunk driving conviction could leave you with a permanent record, and it could result in your driver’s license being suspended for a very long time. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified DWI defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Zegas Law represent clients charged with drunk driving, breath test refusal, and related offenses in Summit, Newark and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 379-1999 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 60 Morris Turnpike, Summit, New Jersey.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.