What to Expect at a DC DUI Stop
A person should contact a DC DUI lawyer to learn more about what to expect if pulled over in Washington, DC and suspected of driving while under the influence. For more information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Law Enforcement’s Focus during a Stop
If you are pulled over at anytime in the District of Columbia, an officer will focus on determining whether you are under the influence. You should therefore expect the officer to ask you questions geared towards determining whether you have consumed alcohol. Sometimes the officer may ask:
- “Have you had anything to drink?”
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- Do you know why you were pulled over?
The officer will also try to ask you questions while they have you retrieve your documentation including your driver’s license, registration, or insurance. This is so the officer can observe you while you try to multitask. If you are impaired, your ability to multitask is significantly lower. An officer is trained to engage a driver with this tactic to determine whether the person has any alcohol in their system.
If there is any suspicion that the person has consumed alcohol or is under the influence of drugs, the next step the officer will take is to ask you to exit your car. They will ask you some follow-up questions to try to obtain as much admission about having had drugs or alcohol as possible. Then they will have you perform field sobriety tests, which are geared toward determining whether you are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Finally, if you do not pass the field sobriety tests, you can expect that they will arrest you and take you back to the station for further testing and processing.
What to do when Being Pulled Over
When you see sirens in your rearview mirror, you should pull over in the next available safe area. It is perfectly acceptable to pull off of the highway, to find the first available safe area. If you cannot pull over safely when the officer turns his light on, simply put on your blinker. This demonstrates to the officer that you intend to pull over.
Once your blinker is on, you should safely and slowly proceed to pull over at the first safe spot. Then, you should prepare the following documents for the officer:
- Your driver’s license
- Your registration
- Your insurance
You should be ready to show these items to the officer. However, you need to make sure that you do not make any quick movements that may make an officer nervous and wonder whether you have a weapon.
Police Stops After Dark
You can expect an officer to be more focused on looking into whether you have a DUI or whether you are up to no good at night. There are more stops at night for driving behavior that would not happen during the day. For example, if a person changes from one lane to another on a city street without using one’s blinker during the day, you would probably not get pulled over. However, police officers would probably pull a person over for that at 11 o’clock at night. In addition, an officer is more concerned for their own safety at night, which is why it is essential to not make any quick or suspicious movements.