Do you have to talk to police when pulled over for DUI?

| May 19, 2021 | Dui/dwi

There are many common misunderstandings about police work and the rights that people have when they are interacting with police. Many of these myths come from movies, TV shows and fiction, but they are inaccurate. A further source of confusion is that laws may differ from state to state. In New Jersey, if you are stopped for suspected driving under the influence, you are required to show your license and registration, but you do not have to answer questions.

What you should do

In a DUI stop, even though the police officer has probably asked you for these documents, you should still tell them first where they are before you retrieve them. For example, if they are in your glove compartment, you should tell the officer that and that you are going to get them. Police have the right to make you leave the car but not your passenger unless there are safety reasons.

Knowing your rights

You may not want to talk to police beyond this because you might reveal information that looks bad and can be used against you even if you are innocent of DUI or anything else you are being accused of. This includes answering immigration questions although if you have legal immigration documents, they must be shown to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers but not police. You do have to follow the instructions of the police, and if you refuse to take a breath test or another type of test for alcohol, you may be treated legally as though you were above the legal limit.

If you believe that police have violated your rights during a traffic stop, this could be enough to get evidence thrown out if proven. The accuracy of tests might also be questioned. You might want to discuss defense strategies with an attorney.

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