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What is your right to remain silent when stopped for DUI?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2023 | DUI Defense |

When the police stop you with reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs, they may administer a chemical breath test. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more, you will surely be charged. If it’s positive at all, they may ask you questions, including how much you had to drink or what you drank. 

Answering such questions can incriminate you. Luckily, you can exercise your right to remain silent. Here is what you need to know.

The right to remain silent does not means not cooperating 

Your right to remain silent protects you from giving the police information they can use against you later. But you don’t need to be uncooperative to do this. It will help to follow the officer’s instructions. For example, if they ask you to get out of the car, do so. If they ask for your name, provide it, and so on.

You should be polite

While exercising your right to remain silent, you should be polite. You don’t need to stay quiet when the officer speaks to you or tell them you can’t answer disrespectfully. Instead, use responses, such as: 

  • “I’m not comfortable answering that” 
  • “Officer, I don’t want to answer that” 
  • “I have been directed by an experienced law firm not to answer that”

These responses are polite, but they still inform the officer that you are exercising your right to remain silent.

You may be taken to the station

If you refuse to answer questions during a DUI stop, the police may request to take you to the station. Since it may be impossible to bring your attorney to the roadside, you should cooperate and go to the station.  

If you are stopped for DUI, it will help to remain silent to avoid incriminating yourself. However, you should be well informed about this right to avoid making mistakes.