Providing Experienced Criminal Defense

You don’t have to tell the police if you’ve had anything to drink

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

During traffic stops, police officers will often ask leading questions. They’re trying to get drivers to say the wrong thing and incriminate themselves. This is a very common practice, and it’s important for drivers to know both that it happens and that they don’t have to answer.

For example, the officer will probably start by asking for your insurance paperwork, your registration and your driver’s license. You do need to provide this documentation, so feel free to hand over the correct paperwork.

But then the officer might say something like “Where are you coming from?” or “Have you had anything to drink today?” Some drivers feel that they have no option but to answer. However, you do have a right to remain silent and you do not have to answer these leading questions.

What are the police fishing for?

The police are just fishing for an admission of guilt that can help them potentially make an arrest.

For instance, maybe you swerved over the centerline. You know that it was just because you got distracted by your child in the backseat. The police officer, however, thinks you might be intoxicated.

But if you say that you had a glass of wine with dinner, just trying to be honest with the police officer, are they going to use that as evidence for an arrest? They can use your own statements against you, so an admission of guilt is never a good idea.

Additionally, if the police are asking you questions, you can request to have your lawyer present. This will not necessarily keep you from getting arrested. But you do have a right to legal representation during an interrogation, and it’s important for you to know what criminal defense tactics are available.