PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
Take a deep breath and stay calm. Always remember to be polite, respectful, don’t say anything incriminating, and don’t perform Field Sobriety Tests.
MAKE THE POLICE OFFICER FEEL COMFORTABLE
Police Officers have a dangerous job. Never make any sudden movements that could make the Officer suspicious. When the Officer asks to see your drivers’ license and registration, politely ask if you can retrieve these items from your wallet/purse or glove box. This will put the Officer at ease and make the encounter less tense for you and the Officer.
UNDERSTAND THAT POLICE OFFICERS WORK BACKWARDS
If you are stopped for any traffic infraction, particularly swerving and especially if it is late at night, the Officer has probably already made up his mind that you are guilty. After pulling you over, his goal is to fish for facts that support his belief that you are drunk. Don’t help the Officer do what he already decided to do when he first pulled you over, ARREST YOU! Please do not make the mistake of thinking that cooperation will get you off! Exercise your right to remain silent.
JUST SAY NO TO:
Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s): These are designed to help the Officer justify why he arrested you. Therefore you simply cannot “pass” an FST. They are highly incriminating and you should politely and respectfully decline to partake.
The Roadside PAS (Breathalyzer): You are not required to submit to a roadside breath test. The State of California mandates that you submit to a test of either your breath or your blood AFTER you’re arrested. The roadside machine is very unreliable and you should respectfully decline. If arrested, you must take a breath test at the station or you will have your license suspended for one year.
YOU WILL PROBABLY GET ARRESTED, BUT YOU WILL HAVE A STRONGER CASE
This is the sad and true reality. An Officer can make an arrest if he has probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. Unfortunately, smelling like alcohol and having blood-shot watery eyes is likely enough. However, this is all he will have if you follow the previous directions. This is why all the preceding steps are important:
1. Pull your self together.
2. Don’t say anything beyond your name and address.
3. Just say no to FST’s and the roadside breathalyzer.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE HANDCUFFED AND TAKEN TO THE STATION, YOU WILL BE IN A MUCH BETTER POSITION IF YOU FOLLOW THE ABOVE ADVICE.
ASSERT YOUR RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY, CONTACT ONE IMMEDIATELY
Upon arrest, be sure to assert your right to an attorney and cease from answering any further questions. Contact our office immediately for help with the criminal process. Also, read your pink sheet; you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing or you driving privilege will be automatically suspended.