When you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you, you should immediately pull over. It is always a good idea to be polite and comply with the arresting officer, however, it is also important to understand your rights.
Hand over your license and registration when asked, and be polite to the officer to avoid any unnecessary escalation of the incident. If you are asked to get out of the car to perform a field sobriety test it is important to inform the arresting officer of any physical impairments that may prevent you from performing well on the tests. It is also a good idea to ask the officer if he is using a body cam or a dash cam and to know if your test will be recorded.
It is also important that you understand Tennessee’s implied consent law. When you apply for a Tennessee Driver License you are agreeing to the implied consent law which states that as a licensed driver in the state of Tennessee you are consenting to a breathalyzer and/or chemical test. Therefore, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you are subject to further punishment, which usually includes loss of license.
Remember your Miranda rights. You have the right to remain silent, and if you are questioned be sure to invoke this right. You are not required to speak to the officer, and to avoid your words being used against you in court, sometimes silence may be the best route.
Finally, when you are released from police custody you should immediately seek representation. A DUI conviction can have life altering consequences, and a good criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the uncertainty of litigation and the Tennessee criminal justice system. Philip Clark has experience working with DUIs and he can help you ease the complexity that comes with a DUI charge.
Please be sure to also take a look at the article titled “What happens after a 2nd DUI?” for more information on this topic.