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Pulled Over: What Next?


The best way to ensure you are never charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) is to take a taxi, find a designated driver, or get home on foot. However, getting pulled over on suspicion of DUI happens to many people - even completely sober people - and the actions a driver takes in the moments that follow are critical.

Do you know what you need to do if you are pulled over?

Let us refresh your memory

1. Be polite and avoid making any sudden movements around the officer. 

If you've paid attention at all to the news in recent months, you know that sudden movements can lead to misunderstandings that escalate the situation. There is no need to make things worse. Remain calm and prepare to engage in polite dialogue with the officer. 

2. Tell the truth (but not too much)

It is never a good idea to lie. If you lie it will come back to bite you. Bank on it. However, you are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions, especially without a lawyer present. 

3. Smile 

Chances are you are on camera. 

4. Politely decline field sobriety tests

You have nothing to gain as these tests are designed to give the officer a reason to arrest you for being impaired. You have no obligation to do law enforcement's work for them. 

5. Refuse to take a portable breath test

Refusing to take the test does not violate Missouri's implied consent law, and can do nothing but hurt you in the moment. 

6. Get in touch with a lawyer. 

You need the help of an experienced lawyer to sort out your situation and protect your rights. 

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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