Fourth of July festivities often include barbecues, fireworks and social gatherings with friends and family. Unfortunately, these celebrations can also lead to an increase in drunk driving incidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 4th of July is the second highest-ranking holiday for DUI arrests, following New Year’s Eve.
If the Arkansas police pull you over on suspicion of driving under the influence after a 4th of July party, there are certain steps you should take.
Maintain calm and cooperate
When the police signal you to pull over, do so as quickly and safely as possible. Find a spot where you can stop without disrupting traffic. Turn off your car engine, roll down your window and keep your hands visible on the steering wheel. Do not make sudden movements or try to exit the vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
Being respectful and cooperative with the officer can significantly affect how the situation unfolds. However, cooperation does not mean self-incrimination. You have the right to remain silent and you do not have to answer questions about where you were or what you were doing.
Field sobriety tests and breath tests
Arkansas law enforcement might ask you to perform a field sobriety test or take a breath test. Remember, you have the right to refuse these tests. However, refusal may lead to automatic suspension of your driving license under the implied consent laws in Arkansas.
It is important to know that field sobriety tests can be subjective, and many sober people fail them. Likewise, breath tests can sometimes give inaccurate readings. If you choose to take the tests and fail, it is not an automatic conviction for DUI.
After the DUI stop
If the police arrest you for a DUI, remember your right to remain silent. Do not argue with the officer or resist arrest, as this can lead to additional charges. Once taken into custody, you have the right to make a phone call. Use this opportunity to inform a trusted friend or family member of your situation.
Being pulled over for a suspected DUI can be a stressful experience, but knowing what steps to take can help make a tough situation easier to handle.