Even with strict laws in place, driving under the influence remains a concern among law enforcement officers from one side of the country to the next. And that’s why they’re more in tune than ever before with catching those who violate the law.

If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, there are a variety of steps you can take to protect your legal rights and hopefully avoid an arrest. Here’s what you should do:

  • Quickly pull over: Don’t continue to drive, or worse yet, attempt to evade police. Turn on your hazard lights, move to the side of the road or a parking lot and wait for the officer to approach your window.
  • Be courteous: As the officer asks for your license, registration and insurance card, remain courteous and respectful. Don’t talk back.
  • Don’t say too much: Your first instinct is to protect yourself, so you immediately begin to deny that you did anything wrong. Doing this will give the officer even more reason to think you’re under the influence, so remain quiet until you’re asked a question. At that point, carefully consider what you should and shouldn’t say. Remember, you’re not required to answer a question you don’t understand or one that confuses you.
  • Remain calm if you’re put under arrest: Despite your best efforts to avoid trouble, you could still be put under arrest for driving under the influence. Fighting back will only make things worse, as you could end up with injuries and additional criminal charges. Keep quiet and take direction until you’re released.

Soon enough, you’ll have the opportunity to turn your attention to the details of your arrest and your place in the legal system. Don’t waste any time preparing for your day in court, as this can go a long way in helping prevent a conviction.

Chances are that there’s at least one DUI defense strategy you can rely on, with the goal of preventing a conviction or reducing the penalties against you.

An arrest for driving under the influence isn’t the same as a conviction. Do whatever it takes to protect your legal rights.