Encounters with law enforcement officers during traffic stops can be tense. One common question that may arise during these interactions is, “Have you been drinking?”
It is important to respond calmly and responsibly to protect your rights and avoid unnecessary complications.
Remain calm and composed
In 2020, there were 12,008 DUI convictions in Georgia. The prospect of legal trouble can be scary, so when a police officer asks if you have been drinking, the first and most important step is to remain calm and composed. Stay polite and respectful throughout the interaction. Keep your emotions in check and avoid any confrontational or argumentative behavior.
Do not volunteer information
You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. If you believe answering a question may lead to self-incrimination, politely refuse to answer.
Officers may ask additional questions, but you have the right to remain silent or politely decline to answer if you feel uncomfortable. Avoid giving personal information not related to the stop. Providing lengthy explanations can sometimes lead to confusion or self-incrimination.
Comply with sobriety tests
Officers may request that you perform field sobriety tests. These tests may include walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. You are generally required to comply but can ask for clear instructions if you are unsure about how to perform them.
Be mindful of your body language
Your body language can significantly impact how the encounter unfolds. Maintain eye contact, keep your hands visible and avoid sudden movements. Police may see abrupt or erratic behavior as a potential threat, so aim for a calm and cooperative demeanor.
By following these guidelines, you may ensure a smoother interaction with law enforcement and protect your rights during a traffic stop.