South Carolina citizens who are pulled over by the police under the suspicion of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be wary about talking to the police. Most people know that it’s in their best interests to talk to a lawyer instead of talking directly to the police so that they don’t incriminate themselves. However, is it legal not to talk to the police?
You must identify yourself
When you’re pulled over for a DUI or another traffic offense, an officer is within his or her rights to ask you questions. As a licensed driver, it’s your duty to present the officer with your driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance. Beyond this information, you do not have to speak to the police officer. However, instead of just giving the silent treatment, it’s advisable to be polite about your silence. Simply state that you don’t want to speak without your lawyer present.
You don’t have to participate in field sobriety tests
You may be asked by the police officer to perform field sobriety tests. These tests are commonly used to help an officer confirm a suspicion of an intoxicated driver. However, field sobriety tests are completely optional to do. In most cases, it’s in your best interest to simply decline to take the test. These field sobriety tests are an added form of evidence that can be used against you in a court of law if the officer decides to arrest you for a DUI offense.
Getting pulled over by the police can be a scary experience for anyone. Understanding just what you do and don’t have to do when it comes to talking with the police can help you to act within your legal rights. If you still have questions regarding your rights when interacting with the police, you should consider speaking to an attorney.