Maybe you have alcohol in your system. Or maybe you can’t remember the last time you had a drink. Either way, there’s always the possibility a police officer could pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI).

If that happens, your immediate attention should turn to the steps you can take to increase the likelihood of avoiding serious trouble with the law. Doing these things will help your cause:

  • Pull over and stay where you are: Once you realize that the officer wants to stop your vehicle, put on your hazard lights and slowly move to safety, such as the shoulder of the road. Upon coming to a stop, put your vehicle in park and stay in your seat.
  • Don’t say anything when the officer arrives at your window: They’ll tell you what to do, which typically starts with providing your license, insurance card and registration information.
  • Don’t protest: Even if you don’t have alcohol in your system, don’t become combative by telling the officer that you’re not under the influence. It gives them even more reason to dig deeper.
  • Remain quiet: The more you say, the more likely it is that you’ll slip up and share something that makes you appear guilty (even if you’re not). Keep quiet, all the while realizing that you’re under no obligation to answer questions that the officer asks you. If you’re not comfortable doing so, politely turn down the request.

It’s your hope that taking these steps will help you prevent an arrest, thus allowing you to leave the scene unscathed.

If you’re put under arrest for suspicion of DUI, your attention should now turn to protecting your legal rights. Remain quiet and follow the orders of the officer. Fighting back has no chance of working, so you should comply with all their requests.

Once you’re processed and released from jail, you can then revisit the details of your arrest and get a better idea of what the legal system will bring to your life in the future.

The most important thing at this point is that you have a DUI defense strategy guiding you.