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What to Do If You’re Stopped for a DUI

Pulled Over for DUI in Tennessee?

If you are ever stopped by law enforcement in Tennessee on suspicion of DUI, it's crucial to understand your rights and how to respond effectively. This article will guide you through the process, including the critical question of whether you can refuse a breathalyzer test.

Stay Calm & Be Polite

Even if you haven't been drinking, being pulled over can be stressful. The most important thing is to remain calm and polite with the officer. Pull over to a safe location, turn off your engine, and roll down your windows. Keep your hands visible and avoid any sudden movements. When the officer approaches, have your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance readily available.

Adhere to Their Requests

When requested by the officer, you should provide your driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. It's essential to have these documents readily accessible to expedite the process. Not providing these documents can lead to further complications.

During a traffic stop, you are legally required to communicate with the officer and give them the documents they request. While you can question why you were stopped and if they have probable cause, you still need to comply.

Exercise Caution When Communicating

During a DUI stop, be mindful of your words and actions. Avoid making any self-incriminating statements and refrain from engaging in arguments with the officer. It's best to answer questions succinctly and honestly without providing unnecessary information.

Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Tennessee?

Tennessee is an implied consent state. This means that by operating a vehicle on public roads, you implicitly consent to chemical testing (blood or breath) if you are arrested for DUI. However, you do have the right to refuse the roadside breathalyzer test.

Understanding the Consequences of Refusal

Refusing a breathalyzer test will result in an automatic driver's license suspension of one year. This suspension is separate from any potential penalties you may face if convicted of DUI. The arresting officer will still have probable cause to arrest you based on their observations of your behavior and driving patterns. Additionally, they may seek a warrant for a blood test, which can be compelled by the court.

The Importance of Legal Representation:

A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including:

  • Jail time
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Significant fines
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Difficulty obtaining employment

Get Legal Counsel

An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and potentially obtain a reduced charge or dismissal of your case. They can also advise you on the steps necessary to reinstate your driver's license.

Contact us online or via phone at (865) 544-2010 to schedule an initial consultation.