Consideration When Pulled Over While Possibly Drunk
But there are occasions, especially after a long dinner with friends while you may have had a few drinks but don’t feel necessarily drunk, where if you are pulled over you might be nervous of receiving a DUI. And rightfully so, the police don’t care where, when, or why you were drinking… at all. Their only concern is that if you are drunk, you shouldn’t be driving. Few officers will be lenient in any DUI instance, so keep that in mind. Anything over a .049 is a DWAI and anything over a .08 is a DUI. Thats the law, and most officers follow the law to a T.
Though, if you are pulled over there are a number of things you can do to help increase your chances of not being found out. The following isnt a guide of how to get out of a DUI, as mentioned before, if you feel drunk or know you’ve been drinking too much, just don’t drive. It’s that easy. But for those that are unsure after that dinner cocktail or happy hour specials, here are a few things to keep in mind to not draw to much attention to yourself.
Sight, Smell, and Sound
When it comes down to it, there are only really three distinct tells that can give away the fact you’ve been drinking. Those being sight, smell, and sound. If you keep these three in mind, you will likely sharpen up enough that an officer won’t notice a thing.
The tell of sight is obviously anything visual that may allude to you being drunk. Squinted eyes, having your clothes disheveled or soiled, staggering, swaying, and essentially every other typical visual sign of being drunk. Obviously if you notice yourself swaying or staggering to your car you shouldn’t be driving. But if you are pulled over and a cop notices you look like… well, hell. Then he is going to start questioning why that is. Another visual tell to avoid are open containers in your car. Essentially, the less you give an officer to question the better off you’ll be. So be sure you are put together well before starting your car up, and simply don’t look to haggard.
A tell of smell is obviously that of alcohol. If you had a drink spilled on you, try to clean it up as best as possible. Once alcohol dries on clothes, it has a very pungent and distinct smell that is normally not removable without washing. If a substantial amount of alcohol was spilled on you, if you have a change of clothes or can remove that article of clothing for the drive home you should. Your breath will be the next olfactory tell, especially if you’ve been drinking hard alcohol. As such be sure to wash the smell out of your mouth with water or other non-alcoholic beverages before driving. Be careful of using mouthwash or breath mints as if an officer smells those, he is likely to suspect the same thing as if he smelled alcohol. They always assume you are trying to hide something. So you want to get rid of the scent, not hide it or mask it.
Finally, the tell of sound comes from any slurring of words. Beyond slurring words, an inability to answer questions in a responsive manner tells officers something is up. Stuttering, stopping sentences mid-way, essentially anything that isn’t normal will be suspect. So as you’re being pulled over, gain your composure and above all, avoid becoming nervous. Remember, simply being nervous, even if you aren’t drunk, can give cause for suspicion. So stay cool, stay calm, and act normal.
Beyond sight, smell, and sound there are a handful of other things which can help to increase your chances of not being suspected of drinking and driving when pulled over. It ought to be mentioned though, that none of this matters if you are pulled over for swerving, driving erratically, with your headlights off, or generally not driving safely and lawfully. Driving is a tell in itself, and you shouldn’t be driving anyhow if you can’t properly operate your vehicle.
That said, upon speaking to the officer after being pulled over, be sure to be respectful and courteous. Remember, an officer is not their to harass you or make your life difficult. Their job is to protect and serve, and upon being pulled over that is exactly what they are doing. If they believe you are drunk, they are protecting you and others from your actions. So pay them a little respect as it is deserved. After all the saying goes, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
It also helps to be wearing your seat belt, having your information ready in hand and have the window down ready to speak with them. Make eye contact and don’t shirk away. After all you have nothing to hide, and not making eye contact gives them reason to believe you don’t want them to see your eyes. Now all of this information will be helpful until they ask you to step out of the car. At that point, the officer believes something is up and a whole new strategy will need to be implemented of how to deal with being suspected of a DUI.
At The Clark Law Firm, we understand that the law can be a tricky course to navigate. If you need help finding your way and have been convicted of a DUI in Boulder Colorado, or are concerned with Drug Offenses, in need of Felony Defense or Misdemeanor Defense, please be sure to contact us immediately. We will hit the ground running to make sure you have the best Boulder Attorney and legal coverage possible!