What NOT to say when pulled over for drunk driving

posted by Robert Rehkemper on Friday, October 17, 2014

7.  No I haven't had anything to drink. Cop - "Bull crap! If you really haven't had anything to drink you wouldn't reek of booze and would happily take a breath test." Free advice.  A "couple of beers" or "a few" may give a person reason not to trust a breath test machine result but a jury is going to expect someone who had no drinks at all to pony up and take the test.

6.  I just live right there, can't you just let me walk home?  Cop - "Nope.  I have 'minimum contacts' to make this month and you are getting me there."  Free advice.  Really a valid question but think about it; if you are ok to drive, why does the officer need to just let you walk home?  That signals to him and a potential jury that you knew you were not in a condition to drive.

5.  I'm not a bad person.  Cop - "Yes you are.  You are driving drunk and just last weekend I had to pull a dead 5 year-old child and his mom from an obliterated car that was smashed by a drunk driver.  Get over yourself."  Free advice.  If you have to tell someone you are not a bad person, chances are you are currently thinking that you are a bad person. If you currently believe you are in a condition that allows you to drive safely, you would have no reason to consider yourself a bad person.  Shhhhh, keep that thought to yourself.

4.  Just trying to get home OcciferCop- "Not happening tonight pal.  If you have to TRY to get home at 2:00 in the morning you shouldn't be driving.  Driving home is not that complicated under normal circumstances for a sober person."  Free advice.  Try the much simpler, "home" when asked where you are headed.

3.  Don't you have real criminals to catch? Cop - "Yup, just caught one."  Free advice.  Drunk driving is a crime.  A crime that a significant population of the American public commit on a weekly basis but don't necessarily get caught.  When arrested for operating while intoxicated you are charged with a crime.  Now is the time to face the music, lawyer up and fight like hell to avoid being forever labeled a "criminal."

2.  Do you know who (I am) (my dad is) (my best friend is) (my boss is), so on and so forth?  Cop - "Do tell so that I can make sure to put that name and spell it correctly in my report.  I will make sure not to cut this fool a break so I don't end up on the front page of the paper as doing political favors for someone.  Oh, and I will also make extra sure that I do everything by the book."  Free advice.  Keep your familial relationships to yourself.  While it may have worked in years past now days officers, prosecutors and judges are petrified of looking like they cut people a break just because of their relationships.  If anything, this just makes everything worse.

1.  I can't do that sober.  Cop - "Yahtzee!  You just admitted to being drunk."  Free advice.  Better response.  "I can't do those even if I have consumed no alcohol at all Mr. Officer sir.  Those tests are subjective and a university study has shown that trained police officers will fail individuals who have consumed no alcohol at all, an astounding 46% of the time.  Therefore, I respectfully decline your roadside gymnastics, thank you very much.  I will however, agree to submit to the preliminary breath test so long as you will agree to show me the result."

Best advice is always: Shut up; Wise up; Lawyer up!  What you say can have an impact on your case.  Download your free Oh Crap App for a free reminder of what you do and do not have to do when pulled over. www.oh-crap-app.com.
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  2. drunk driving rights
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  4. operating while intoxicated

About The Author

Mr. Rehkemper was selected to the Super Lawyers list for the sixth straight year in 2018, and has repeatedly been named Avvo’s Client Choice and Top Attorney for DUI defense with a Superb rating of 10.0 out ... read more