As a driver, it can be intimidating to see the flashing lights of a law enforcement vehicle in your rearview mirror. When law enforcement initiates a traffic stop, it is because there is reasonable suspicion that a crime is taking place or Minnesota police witnessed an action that gives them a clear reason to make a traffic stop. In many cases, they will stop a driver if they suspect that he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you are ever pulled over for suspected intoxicated operation of a vehicle, it is in your interests to know how to protect your rights as you speak with law enforcement and at every step of the process. Knowing what to expect during this interaction and being familiar with your rights may help you in your defense if you are eventually arrested and charged. What you do and say can have an impact on your future the moment you see a police vehicle pulling you over.
Steps to protecting yourself
It is not always easy to know what to do or what you should say while talking with police. It can be intimidating to experience a traffic stop, which is why it is extremely helpful for each person to know how they can shield their interests as they go through the process of a suspected drunk driving traffic stop. The following will be helpful to you in the event that you find yourself in this position:
- Keep the documents you may need in the event of a traffic stop readily accessible. This includes your insurance information and your vehicle registration.
- While talking with police, be courteous and respectful, but do not admit to any wrongdoing.
- You have the right to refuse to submit to any field sobriety tests requested by the officer.
- You may refuse to submit to a breath test, but this could result in serious penalties that might include loss of your license and more.
Building a strong defense strategy starts with understanding what should happen during a suspected drunk driving traffic stop. A violation of your rights could be grounds to challenge the entire case against you. It is in your interests to start developing your defense strategy as soon as possible after a drunk driving traffic stop.