If you’re like many people, you know that being pulled over can be a scary experience – and it’s worse if you’ve been drinking. Even if you’ve only had one drink and you’re certainly under the legal limit for the state of Illinois, being pulled over after leaving a restaurant, a bar or a friend’s house is definitely nerve-wracking. So what should you do if you get pulled over by Rolling Meadows police after drinking?
Here’s what you need to know (and when to call a Rolling Meadows DUI attorney).
What Should You Do if You Get Pulled Over After Drinking?
First things first: Illinois has a law that considers you legally drunk if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or more. We know that 0.08 percent looks different in everyone; some people are visibly impaired, and some people don’t seem drunk at all. No matter what we think, though, the state of Illinois considers a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent to be enough to convict a person of drunk driving.
If you’re pulled over after drinking, you should:
- Pull over carefully, just as you would at any other time.
- Be polite when you deal with police. Never become combative – even if they’re wrong. (If they’re wrong, the truth will eventually come out. It’s not your job to correct police!) There’s a very good chance that the police pulling you over are wearing body cams, which means everything you say and do is being recorded; you don’t want to do anything that could later be used against you in court.
- Don’t blurt out, “I only had one drink!” if the police don’t ask you if you’ve been drinking. You don’t have to answer any questions that could incriminate you, which means even if the police ask you, you don’t have to admit to drinking – but remember, lying to the police can get you into trouble, too. You always have the right to remain silent when police ask you questions, but that comes with consequences, as well. (We understand that this is a difficult position for anyone to be in. You don’t want to “tattle” on yourself, but you don’t want to lie to the police or lead them to believe you’re hiding something, either.)
Remember, the police are probably wearing cameras – and if you admit to drinking, it’s going to be on tape.
If you choose to admit that you were drinking, tell the whole story. Let the police know that you aren’t over the legal limit (provided that you’re not), explain what type of alcohol you were drinking, how big the drinks were, how long ago you consumed the alcohol and even whether you ate when you were drinking. It’s not against the law to drink and later drive; it’s only against the law to drive when you’re drunk.
- Remember that if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, the police will probably arrest you on the spot. Refusal to take a breathalyzer test also results in a one-year suspension of your driving privileges.
- If you are arrested, let the police know you’d like to speak to an attorney. Then, use your right to remain silent. Don’t say anything until you call your attorney, and then follow your lawyer’s guidance from there.
Related: What can a DUI attorney do for you?
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You Were Pulled Over After Drinking?
If you need to talk to a lawyer because you were pulled over after drinking, we’re here for you. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below. Please use your right to remain silent when you’re dealing with the police – don’t say anything until after you’ve talked to us.