It is stressful when a police officer pulls you over for suspicion of drunk driving. You may feel nervous even if you are not under the influence of any substance. If you do not know how a DUI stop works or what you should do, you may make mistakes.

Understanding the process and your rights will help you make better decisions when the cops pull you over. Here is a general overview of what happens during a DUI stop.

Questions and observations by the police officer

 If a police officer pulls you over, he or she will generally request your license and registration documents. He or she will probably also ask about your alcohol consumption. You do not need to answer questions about your drinking. It is perfectly within your rights to remain silent.

While the cop asks questions and reviews your documents, he or she will also make observations. The officer will look for signs of impairment, such as the smell of alcohol on your breath or open containers.

Roadside tests

 If the officer thinks you may be drunk, he or she may conduct roadside tests. This may partially constitute field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn, horizontal gaze nystagmus and one-leg balance. The officer may also ask you to submit to chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol content. If you refuse the BAC test, you will face a license suspension and fines.

Arrest and detention

 In cases that the officer suspects you of driving under the influence, he or she will handcuff you and take you to the local police station or jail. The police may detain, jail and put you on bail.

It is vital to know that you have the right to defend against DUI charges. Even if the police arrest you and you face serious criminal charges, you may be able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges.