DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

Remember your rights at a DUI stop

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Criminal Defense

With summer about to be in full swing in New Jersey, you may be attending more gatherings and social events involving alcohol. This can sometimes lead to having a drink or two and deciding to drive home.

While you probably know you should never drive while drunk, remember that it may be legal to drive after consuming alcohol if you are below the legal limit. Therefore, if you are pulled over for DUI in New Jersey, it is important to know the rights you have at a DUI stop.

In the summer, police officers are often on the lookout for drunk drivers, especially late at night or on holiday weekends.

Police officers need reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Reasonable suspicion can be something major, such as observing you driving well over the speed limit, or minor, such as forgetting to use a traffic signal.

Sometimes police officers use the reasonable suspicion as the initial basis for the stop, while their real goal is determining if you are driving drunk.

Right to remain silent

One of the most valuable rights you have in this situation is your right to remain silent. The police officers might tell you about the basis for the stop but then ask if you had any alcohol to drink.

You do not need to answer. Even if you had a couple drinks, do not tell the officers you only had “two beers” or something similar. Aside from providing your name and driver’s license and registration documents, you have a right to say nothing else.

This may not stop the police officers from asking you to step out of your vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. You should step out of the vehicle if they ask but you have a right to say no to the field sobriety tests.

These are tests designed to test your balance and coordination. Some examples are walking a straight line or following a light with your eyes.

Why you should refuse field sobriety tests

Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. Many people fail simply because they are nervous. However, if you agree to take them and fail, you could find yourself under arrest for DUI.

Your right to remain silent and say no to field sobriety tests are two of your most important rights at a DUI stop.