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Be careful what you say during a DUI stop

It can happen to anyone — you've been at dinner with friends and thought you were careful counting your drinks. You leave the party, confident that you're sober enough to drive, but several blocks later you see the blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror. Are you sure you know how to behave during a DUI stop? What if the police officer asks you questions and you don't know how to answer?

A DUI stop is a difficult situation to handle, no matter how it occurs. However, it is important to understand the officer's job during the stop, as well as how to protect your own rights throughout the interaction. How you conduct yourself may have major implications on the strength of your defense, should you receive DUI charges.

If you already received DUI charges, be sure to speak with an attorney as soon as you can. As you read this, the prosecution is building a case against you, but you still may have a number of ways to defend against it. An experienced attorney can help you understand the details of your experience and assemble a strong defense to protect your rights and privileges.

Conduct is key

Police officers in every part of the country have difficult jobs, and Northern Atlanta is no different. You want to make sure that you remain calm and cooperative throughout the interaction, so that the officer understands that you are neither dangerous nor unpredictable.

However, you can be cooperative without incriminating yourself. Other than your name, you are not legally required to say anything else to an officer. While complete silence may not be the wisest approach, be mindful that anything you say is evidence that will be used against you if at all possible.

In general, it is wise to say as little as possible. If an officer continues to ask you questions, you can say something simple and direct, such as, "I don't want to answer any more questions without an attorney present," or simply ask to speak to an attorney.

It is also important to remember that it is never wise to lie to the officer. If you are tempted to lie for any reason, simply do not answer the question. Lying to an officer can later result in your receiving obstruction of justice charges, which are serious.

Begin fighting charges immediately

In some cases, if you remain calm and cooperative, and do not give the officer any more information, you may get lucky and get off with a warning or lesser, non-DUI charge. However, in many cases, the stop may progress into arrest and DUI charges.

In this event, make sure that you begin building your defense as soon as you can. There are usually more ways to fight the charges than you realize.

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