What to do if You are Pulled over After Consuming Alcohol or Drugs. Hint: Say less.

Being pulled over by law enforcement, especially after you have been drinking or have consumed any drug (prescription or not), can be a stressful experience, especially if you are arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in California.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know what to do to protect your rights and avoid making any mistakes that could harm your case. Remember, when you get arrested for a DUI, you must handle two independent proceedings with (1) the Court, & (2) the DMV. 

Here are the steps you should take if you're pulled over for suspected DUI in California:

  1. Pull over safely: When you see the police lights in your rearview mirror, safely pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible. Use your turn signal to indicate your intention to stop and find a safe place to pull over, such as a well-lit area with plenty of space to park.

  2. Stay calm and cooperative: When the officer approaches your vehicle, be polite and cooperative. Provide your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked. Avoid making any admissions of guilt, speaking to much, or providing any information that could be used against you later.

  3. Decline field sobriety tests (and yes, that includes the PAS which is the breathalyzer performed during the investigation and prior to arrest): If the officer asks you to perform field sobriety tests, politely decline, and it is often easiest to blame your lawyer. These tests are notoriously unreliable and can be difficult to perform even if you are sober. In California, you are not required to perform these tests, and refusing to do so cannot be used against you in court. Remember, say as little as possible. 

  4. Do not consent to a search: If the officer asks to search your vehicle, do not consent. You have the right to refuse a search without a warrant, and consenting to a search could lead to evidence being discovered that could be used against you in court. 

  5. Provide a breath or blood sample if arrested: it is important to note that if you are subsequently arrested, you are required to provide a breath or blood sample, so do not refuse. A refusal can have significant consequences.  

  6. Contact a DUI defense attorney: As soon as possible after your arrest, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in California. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and develop a strong defense strategy to fight the charges against you.

In conclusion, being pulled over for suspected DUI in California can be a stressful and intimidating experience. However, by staying calm, declining field sobriety tests, and limiting your verbal and nonverbal communication, you can protect your rights and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. If you are facing DUI charges in California, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and fight the charges against you. Please contact us at 833-666-5245 for aggressive and qualified defense services. 


DUI, Attorney, San Jose, Dublin, Hayward, Castro Valley, Oakland, San Francisco, Redwood City, San Mateo, Martinez, California, driving under the influence, pulled over, law enforcement, sobriety tests, attorney, defense strategy, criminal defense attorney, legal options.

Related Posts
  • Top 8 Reasons you Need a Lawyer in 2023 to Fight a DUI charge in California Read More
  • Understanding California's Administrative Per Se Hearing in DUI Cases Read More
  • The Difference Between California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) & 23152(b) -- Two Different Ways to Prove Driving under the Influence of Alcohol Read More