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Know what to do during a DUI stop

If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, it's imperative to know your rights as a motorist.

The first thing you should do is have your registration card and insurance information readily accessible. This way, you don't have to search your entire vehicle when the information is requested of you.

As the officer approaches, keep your hands on the wheel and turn on the dome light to show that you're not hiding anything.

From there, it's important to remain courteous throughout the entire process. If you get defensive, if you take an attitude with the officer, it's only going to make things worse on you at this time.

At no point should you admit to anything, as this will be used against you in the future. You shouldn't discuss how much, if anything, you've had to drink, even if it was only a single beer or glass of wine.

If you're asked to perform sobriety tests, it's your decision as to whether or not you comply. Even if you feel capable of passing these tests, it's important to remember that they can be confusing, even if you are completely sober.

If you're fortunate, you'll prove to the officer that you're capable of driving and he or she will leave the scene. If you're not, you could be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Even though a DUI arrest is a big deal, as it can change your life in many ways, you need to remember this: There are defense strategies you can use in an attempt to avoid the most serious punishment.

Source: National Motorists Association, "How To Protect Your Rights During A DUI Traffic Stop," accessed Nov. 16, 2016

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