In Virginia, you can receive up to 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine for your first DUI offense. Further offenses result in additional fines, fees and jail time.
Therefore, if the police pull you over because they suspect you of driving under the influence, you should know what to do and how to act. These are some tips.
Look for the first safe location to pull over. Avoid areas with lots of traffic where you or the officers are in danger. Slow your vehicle and turn on your signal as soon as you see the police car lights. Avoid moving your vehicle erratically or stopping abruptly. Just take it slow.
Prepare for the police encounter
If it is dark outside, turn on your vehicle’s inside light so the police can see you. Then, roll down your window and place your hands at the 10 and two positions on your steering wheel. Take deep breaths to calm yourself. Do not turn around or get out of the vehicle.
Speak with the officer respectfully. Use “sir” or “ma’am” when you ask or answer questions. Keep the officers informed of your actions, such as if you want to reach into the glove box for your insurance and registration. Let them know if you have a weapon in the vehicle and where it is. Always bring your hands back to the steering wheel.
Know your rights
You have the right to avoid incriminating yourself, which allows you to deny answering questions such as whether you have had anything to drink. You can also deny field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. Do not take these tests because many things can suggest that you are under the influence.
For the best results, follow police instructions and be polite.