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Officer’s Questions

ADMITTING DRINKING OF ALCOHOL

An officer will often ask the driver if he or she has been drinking. Many people answer “only a couple.” Truthful or not, this answer constitutes an admission to drinking alcohol and will add to probable cause for a DUI arrest, and is an unnecessary mistake.

Drivers, as well as anyone else, questioned in any civilian setting before or after an arrest, have a fundamental Fifth Amendment Constitutional right to remain silent – to not incriminate themselves. This means you have the right not to answer the question. A proper and lawful answer to that question might be: “I’m not answering that question” or “I choose not to respond to that question.”

A driver stopped for a traffic violation must give their name, driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, but may decline to answer any further question or provide any further information based on the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the right against self-incrimination.

Tip: Some drivers use a distinctive folder to put their registration and insurance card in, and anytime they drive, they put their license in it and place it in an easy to find location in their vehicle. Nervously fumbling around for these things (which many do when completely sober) is something which the officer will note in his report as some evidence of intoxication. After a person has been pulled over at a traffic stop and hands the officer the folder and affirms his name, he need not answer any further questions.