It can feel unsettling to see flashing red lights in your rearview mirror during a drive home at night. You wonder what prompted police to pull you over. Regardless of what charges they may attempt to pursue you on, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
Your first interaction with an officer
The most important thing to remember when police pull you over in a traffic stop is to remain calm. You want to quickly move your car to the side of the road and roll down your window. When you are speaking with the officer, keep your hands in view at all times. You should also be polite when you address the officer and try to avoid escalating the situation.
Your rights at a traffic stop
If the officer suspects you might be drunk, he or she may try to smell alcohol on your breath. The officer will ask you how many drinks you’ve had that evening. Keep in mind that you have a right to remain silent.
You can decline to complete a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. However, because of Iowa’s implied consent laws, you will face additional penalties for not agreeing to a breath test or blood or urine test.
If the police arrest you
If you do take a breath test or blood test and police arrest you for OWI, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. You may not realize if police conducted your breath test improperly or if other circumstances could lead to you having your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. When facing serious charges, you want to do all you can to protect your freedom and your future.