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Obviously, the best advice is to not drive after you have been drinking. However, consuming an alcoholic beverage and then operating a motor vehicle in and of itself is not a criminal offense. It only becomes a criminal offense if you have drank too much.

If you are stopped by an officer after having consumed an alcoholic beverage, you should follow the following guidelines:

1. When responding to an officer’s signal to stop, you should pull to the side of the road as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the safety of you or any other person or property.

2. You should stay in your vehicle and be polite and courteous.

3. You should not answer any questions regarding whether you have been drinking, where, or how much was consumed and, if asked by the officer, your reply should be "I respectfully decline to answer any questions without my attorney being present".

4. You should respectfully decline to perform any field sobriety evaluations that may be requested. These evaluations are voluntary and there is no penalty for refusing to submit to them. These tests include, but are not limited to:

a. Recitation of ABC’s

b. Counting forward or backward 

c. Finger-to-nose

d. Walk-and-turn or heel-to-toe

e. One-leg stand

f. Horizontal gaze nystagmus

g. Finger count


5. You should respectfully refuse to submit to any preliminary breath test offered at the side of the road. Refusal of a preliminary breath test is not a criminal offense. It is merely a civil infraction punishable by a fine, similar to any other traffic violation.

6. You should indicate to the officer that if you are to be given a citation then to please proceed with that so you may be on your way and that if you are free to go, you wish to leave immediately. If you are placed under arrest, do not consent to any questioning or submit to any test without first speaking to an attorney.

7. If the officer requests a chemical test after placing you under arrest, excluding a preliminary breath test, you should consent to the officer’s request – as an unreasonable refusal will result in a six month suspension of your driving privileges and six points on your driving record. If you have any questions regarding the test, you should request to contact an attorney prior to responding to the officer’s request. After submitting to the test, you should request an independent chemical test.

                                        8. YOU SHOULD CONTACT US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

For your convenience, this information is also contained on the back of our business card.