How to Protect Yourself When Pulled Over for a CO DUI

No one wants to be stopped by the police and suspected of driving under the influence, but it does happen – even in cases where you’re not impaired.

This is why it’s vital for everyone in Colorado to know what to do if they are stopped by police and accused of drinking and driving. Remember, even if you are innocent, you need to know how to deal with the situation calmly and ensure your rights are protected.

Even if you have been drinking, following the officer’s directions and understanding your rights and responsibilities will help your case later.

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself if pulled over for a DUI in Colorado.

Stay Calm

When you see those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirrors, don’t panic. At this point, the right thing to do is to put on your turn signal and pull over calmly. Stop your car completely and then turn your vehicle off. Remember that the police have dash and body cams, so everything you do from this point on is likely being recorded. Staying calm is to your benefit.

Be Courteous to the Officer

When the officer comes to your window to speak with you, it it likely that you might feel scared, frustrated, or want to argue your side of the story. Unfortunately, if they feel that you are fighting with them or being rude, it can make it seem like you are not in control of yourself or have something to hide.

As much as you can, be respectful and polite.

Don’t Admit You’ve Been Drinking

A common question many police officers will ask after they pull you over is if you’ve had anything to drink. While you should not lie to the officer, realize that you do not have to answer any questions beyond providing identifying information.

Specifically, give them your license, insurance information, and car registration, but do not answer any questions beyond that in order to protect yourself. After all, you have the right to remain silent – put it to use.

The legal limit for blood alcohol in Colorado is 0.05 percent. However, even if you believe you are below that, do not talk about how many drinks you’ve had or when you had them.

Don’t Take the Field Sobriety Test

Many people are under the impression that they must take the field sobriety test issued by officers, but that’s not true. These tests are often not administered properly and are very subjective. In Colorado, you must exit your vehicle if the police officer asks you to do so, but you do not have to take a field sobriety test. If they ask you to, politely decline.

Take a Chemical Test

Colorado Springs DUI Defense Attorney

While you may be able to turn down a field sobriety test, you cannot turn down a chemical test such as a breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol level if suspected of a DUI. The simple act of driving on the road is all the consent they need to administer these tests to you. If you refuse, you are setting yourself up for additional penalties.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.