Law Enforcement Tricks to Trap You for a DUI & How to Avoid Them


The path of getting yourself out of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol) charge is painstakingly long and tedious. Police officers are sometimes trained to find fault in situations where there is none in the first place. This article highlights some of the sneaky tactics some police officers may use to slap you with a DUI charge and how you can turn the tables in your favor.

Engaging in Conversation

Depending on the police officer pulling you over, he or she may attempt to engage in polite conversation. He may ask you how your day was or attempt to get you to talk A LOT about something. On the other hand, the police officer may approach you with a very stern tone, without even a greeting. She may attempt to interrogate you with a slew of questions about your driving experience or why you think she pulled you over. DON’T FALL FOR IT. Police officers will typically engage in conversation because they want you to slip up. This may include any slurred speech or aggressive behavior since alcohol tends to cloud your judgment. If you find yourself blasted with many questions, remember that you have the right to remain silent. Be sure to answer any legal questions you are asked, but you are not required to answer questions about drinking, from where you’re coming, where you’re going, etc.

Recording Video or Audio Statements

In recent years, law enforcement institutions upgraded their systems to ensure transparency and accountability in all their activities. Most patrol cars come with cameras and listening devices that sit on the dashboard. These cameras help keep a record of traffic events, which can be helpful at times. Unfortunately, police use these devices to record incriminating evidence against individuals they pull over, which is admissible in court.

The police officer can control the video and audio from a switch on his belt. In rare situations, shifty officers can tamper with the sound to record only that which can help him charge you further. Fortunately, if you are aware that your every move is under scrutiny, you can use this to your advantage by testing the officer’s reasonableness and patience in the situation. For instance, you can politely ask the officer why he pulled you over and why he thinks it is necessary to ask you all those questions. Alternatively, you could choose to remain tight-lipped and not say or do a single thing to incriminate yourself.

Exposing Physical Traits that Show Alcohol Impairment Symptoms

Another common trick that law enforcement will use on you is to try to get you to show your eyes, face, or nervous grip – anything that could possibly suggest impairment. They will ask you to roll down your window or step out of the vehicle. Most often, they will also shine a bright flashlight in your face in the hopes of seeing any tell-tale signs of alcohol-induced symptoms. Remember, you are not legally obligated to do as they ask except present your driving credentials. While bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol, and a nervous tick point to alcohol symptoms, the police have no way of knowing this unless you give them such information. For all we know, those red eyes could be as a result of an allergy or fatigue. The less you reveal to the police, the less likely they are to catch you on their recording devices.

Performing a Sobriety or Alcohol Test

Sobriety tests are a favorite for law enforcement officers. This is not because they work but because they reinforce their goal to make an arrest. In fact, breathalyzers tend to have an error margin so high that judges often dismiss them as evidence. Even on a good day, it is highly unlikely that you can recite you’re A-B-Cs backwards impeccably. So why ask drivers to do this and other tests? The primary goal here is to get as much evidence as possible to be used in a trial.

An eye test (for Horizontal Gaze Nystagums or HGN), a walk and turn test, and the One Leg Stand are the three “standardized” field sobriety tests; breathalyzer tests (known as a Portable Alcohol Screening device or PAS) are also common. The officer may insist that you take the tests to prove your innocence. They may even ask politely, claiming that they “just want to see if you’re ok to drive home alone.” Once again, do not be deceived. In another case, the police may try and bait you with threats of arrest if you fail to cooperate. Remember to remain calm and politely decline their requests. These tests are just a means to gather evidence voluntarily. No tests mean no evidence.

So, remember, there is no need to participate in any field sobriety tests or the PAS.  If you are arrested, you must take a chemical test or your license will be suspended and you may face enhanced court consequences.  Consider choosing blood over breath, as it provides more opportunities for your defense arguments.

With this in mind, you are prepared for the next time a police patrol car pulls you over. Always remember that you have rights and never willingly submit to any unnecessary information or requests. If you suspect foul play by police officers or want help with a DUI case, Don Hammond is the most reliable DUI and criminal attorney in the state. He proudly has a 100% client satisfaction rate.

The DUI Attorney Don Hammond


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