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Should I Answer Police Questions During a DUI Stop? 

 Posted on August 12, 2021 in DUI

san Francisco dui lawyerMost people are honest, especially when they talk to a police officer, but that police officer might not be as forthright about his or her intentions. When a police officer suspects that a driver is driving under the influence (DUI), he or she may ask questions to find evidence or clues of drunk driving. DUIs and traffic infractions result in more injuries and death than any violent crime, but also DUIs are incredibly hard to prove. 

When a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol, they will ask you what seems like common, getting-to-know-you questions, but in reality, what they are doing is phishing for information. The police officer may be gathering details and building the foundation of a DUI case. 

While it seems logical to stay silent during this exchange, the honest person might feel like they are trying to hide something. It begs the question: When should you answer questions and when should you stay quiet during a DUI stop?

Answering Questions During a DUI Stop

When it comes to answering questions, the best advice is to say a little as possible. While you might share a detailed answer and clearly explain your evening, the officer is listening for answers to specific questions. These include:

  • How many drinks have you had?

  • What did you have to drink?

  • What was the alcohol content of the beverage?

  • How long ago did you drink?

The answers to these questions -- assuming you can answer them all -- will allow the police officer to make an educated guess whether or not your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit. The officer’s goal is to extract specific details about your drinking. 

For example, an average beer is about 5 percent alcohol. So, if you had a beer with dinner, your blood-alcohol concentration is probably below the legal limit, but if you had two or three beers and no food over an hour, your BAC might be right around the legal limit. 

Whether you are being asked questions during a traffic stop or you are being interrogated at the police station it is crucial to remember that you have the right to remain silent. Answering even seemingly innocent questions can sometimes do more harm than good. Anything you say can be used against you during subsequent criminal proceedings. 

Contact a San Francisco DUI Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI, contact a seasoned San Francisco DUI lawyer. Attorney Paul Burglin has some 30 years of experience defending DUI cases. He even wrote the book on DUI defense in California. Call 415-729-7300 for a free consultation.







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