Imagine it’s late at night and a state trooper has just pulled you over on the highway The flashing lights on their vehicle fill the inside of your car as the trooper walks up to your driver’s side window. What happens in the next few minutes could mean the difference between going to jail with a DUI charge hanging over your head or sleeping in your own bed tonight.
Unfortunately, in this situation, it is easy to make a mistake that leads to getting arrested when you might have avoided it. Here are four common mistakes people in Georgia make while in the middle of a traffic stop.
- Saying too much. You might think you can talk your way out of an arrest. But the officer can use anything you tell them as evidence against you. For example, saying, “I only had a couple of beers,” is only going to make the situation worse for you. Instead, answer the officer’s questions while giving up as little information as you can. You can also politely decline to answer a question if you choose.
- Getting out of your vehicle too soon. If the officer wants you to step out of your car, they will tell you. If you get out before then, the officer could perceive that as a threat.
- Having contraband in your vehicle. If the officers arrest you for DUI, they will probably search your vehicle. If they find a gun, open bottle of alcohol, drugs or other contraband, the charges will quickly go up in severity.
- Failing a test. This isn’t a “mistake” in the same way as the other three. But failing a breath test, field sobriety test and/or chemical test is perhaps the fastest way to end up arrested. Georgia is an implied consent state. That means you can decline to take a test, but if you do, your driver’s license will be suspended, regardless of if you were impaired or not. Note that state law requires police officers to advise you of this before asking you to take a test.
Don’t give up if you made any of these mistakes during or after your DUI arrest. Working with an experienced defense attorney can help you make the best of the situation.