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What do I do if I’m pulled over after drinking?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2022 | DWI |

First and foremost, do not drink and drive. Call a friend. Call a Lyft, taxi or Uber. Do not drink and drive. However, if you are pulled over, there are some general tips to follow.

Safety first

The moment that one is pulled over, the police officer has already noted some reason to pull the driver over. Do not give them anything else for their report. From this point forward, an arrest may be likely, so avoiding self-incrimination and evidence mitigation is what is important now. That starts with safely pulling the vehicle over safely. How one pulls over will be noted in the police report, so it should state that the driver pulled into a safe, well-lit parking lot, or pulled over to the side of the road quickly, leaving a safe distance between the vehicle and the roadway.

Be mindful of movements

The police officer will look for any suspicious or potentially dangerous behaviors. Do not give them a reason to pull their gun or taser. Roll down the windows, turn the vehicle off and put both hands on the steering wheel. Breath. There is nothing that can be done at this point.


Police officers have discretion on how they handle their interaction and whether they end in an arrest, warning or just letting the driver go. Give the police every reason to be in the later group, which means being respectful. Every answer is ended with, “sir” or “ma’am.” Be sincere, polite and comply with orders, including exiting the vehicle, if asked. Do not be sarcastic or rude because that can be the difference between going home or to jail.

Keep the interaction simple

When asked for identification and insurance, give it. When asked to identify oneself, do it. Beyond that, use discretion. Just remember that lying can be a crime, and it will be used against the accused at a later trial. One does not have to answer any other questions beyond these preliminary matters. The officer does not have a right to know what one did with their night. They do not have the right to know where one is going or where one came from. If staying silent is too uncomfortable, it is okay for the Winston-Salem driver to invoke their right to remain silent. Remember, even if this interaction results in a ride to jail, at least the driver did not self-incriminate themselves.


North Carolina is an implied consent state, which means there are consequences to not allowing the police to test for alcohol. However, this does not mean one has to consent to a roadside test. Request a blood draw, or in extreme situations, ask for a lawyer.