/ 12.29.23

How to Answer "Have You Been Drinking?"

Written by: Doug Ridley

What to Say - and Not to Say When Speaking with the Police

When you are pulled over by the police, they will often ask you if you have been drinking. This can be a frightening question, especially if you are worried you might be over the legal limit. Admitting to an officer you have been drinking can get you into hot water. But telling the police you have not been drinking when you clearly have been can also get you into trouble. So what should you say?

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI in California, contact the DUI lawyers at Ridley Defense. For over 20 years, our criminal defense attorneys have vehemently defended the rights of our clients. We know how the system works and will fight hard to get you the best outcome possible. Call (805) 208-1866 today to schedule a FREE, confidential consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.

What to Say When Police Ask “Have You Been Drinking?”

If you have not been drinking, you can simply answer “no.” If you have consumed even a small amount of alcohol, you should not lie. But you should also avoid incriminating yourself. So what do you do?

Your Right to Remain Silent

If you are being questioned by police about whether you have been drinking, remember you have a constitutional right to remain silent. The 5th Amendment affords you the right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. This means that when the police are questioning you, you can simply say that you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you would like to speak with your attorney. If and when you do invoke your right to remain silent, however, be sure to decline to answer their questions politely.

Keep in mind that the officer might not read you your Miranda rights during a traffic stop. Miranda rights are read to individuals when they are being formally interrogated and are in custody. Asking questions during a traffic stop is not considered a formal interrogation. In this case, officers are simply trying to determine if a driver is impaired, and, therefore, it is not considered a formal interrogation.

Remaining Silent Is Not an Admission of Guilt

Many people believe that if they invoke their 5th Amendment right, they will appear guilty. This is simply not true. Police officers understand it is well within your right to decline to answer their questions and know that choosing not to answer is not an admission of guilt.

What You Need to Give the Officers During a Traffic Stop

As a California motorist, you must have a valid driver’s license to operate your vehicle. During a traffic stop, you will need to provide your driver’s license, as well as your insurance information and vehicle registration. Failing to provide these documents can lead to a traffic ticket, the impounding of your vehicle, and even criminal charges.

Speak with a DUI Defense Lawyer in Ventura 

Being charged with a DUI can happen to just about anyone. In fact, driving under the influence is one of the most commonly charged offenses in California. So, if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, remember that it is in your best interest to remain silent. Ask to speak to an attorney and keep the details of the incident between you and your DUI lawyer.
Have you or someone you love been charged with DUI in Ventura, Santa Barbara, or Los Angeles County? Contact Ridley Defense right away. One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to navigate the legal process alone. Defending a drunk driving charge takes knowledge and experience. Our criminal defense lawyers have been defending drivers against DUI charges for over 20 years. Our years of experience, along with our relationships with local district attorneys and judges, allow us to get many of the charges against our clients reduced and even dismissed. Contact us online or call (805) 208-1866 to arrange a complimentary consultation.

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