Should I Tell the Officer I Have Been Drinking?

What should you divulge to a police officer if you are pulled over? In most cases, the more you talk to an officer, the more you incriminate yourself. It is best to only answer basic questions such as your name and providing vehicle and driving information. We discuss this issue in more detail on this page.


When you see headlights in your rearview mirror, it’s natural to begin to panic. Are those lights really for you? Where is your registration? What should you say and do? These are all common questions that might run through your mind when an officer pulls you over. Another question that might be on your mind is if you should inform the police officer if you’ve been drinking. I can help you handle getting pulled over with these tips.

Don’t Lie to the Officer

We’ve all seen those TV shows where a character gets pulled over, a police officer saunters over to the car, and the first question asked is, “have you been drinking tonight?” This is a question that you might expect from a police officer. No matter how you choose to handle the situation, one thing is certain. You should not lie to the police when asked a direct question. If you have been drinking, don’t say that you have not been drinking. If you’ve had five drinks, don’t say that you’ve only had one. Lying to the police will only hurt your credibility down the line.

But, keep in mind that you do not have to provide information that will incriminate you. If you do not want to answer any question that the police officer asks you, such as if you have been drinking, you should invoke your right to remain silent. You can do this in a polite and respectful way by simply saying, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that question. I would like to remain silent until I can speak with my lawyer.”

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Remaining Silent

In most cases, it is a good idea to remain silent when a police officer pulls you over and you have been drinking. This is because every question that a police officer asks you is intended to incriminate you, no matter how harmless it seems. The officer is paying attention to how you answer and what you say, no matter what you say. For this reason, it is a good idea to say as little as possible to the police. The more you say, the more reason the officer will find to ask you to take the field sobriety tests. These tests are designed to make you fail and incriminate you further.

Telling the Truth

If you have truly only had one or two drinks, you might not see the harm in informing the police of this fact. So long as you are being honest, this information is not necessarily incriminating. However, keep in mind that upon learning that you have been drinking, the officer will most likely ask you to perform the standardized field sobriety tests.

In most cases, it is best to invoke your right to remain silent if a police officer believes that you have been drinking and driving. This can make sure that you don’t say the wrong thing and end up incriminating yourself. If you have been pulled over by the police, you should contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.

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