Your Life Matters

  1. Home
  2.  • 
  3. DUI/DWI
  4.  • Are you required to answer questions during a DUI stop?

Are you required to answer questions during a DUI stop?

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | DUI/DWI

A traffic stop can always be a bit unnerving, especially if the officer believes you’ve been driving under the influence. After pulling you over, the officer may talk to you through the front window or even instruct you to get out of the car. They may have a few different questions to ask you, such as asking if you’ve had anything to drink or where you’re going at this time.

People often just instinctively answer these questions, and some of them even think they’re obligated to do so, as if the police have the authority to demand answers at all times. But the police certainly do not have this ability, and most drivers do not need to answer the majority of questions that they ask.

Why do they ask these questions?

Often, the goal for the police officer is just to get the driver to incriminate themselves. So they will intentionally ask leading questions that could lead to an accidental admission of guilt. 

When the officer asks if you’ve had anything to drink that day, for instance, they’re simply hoping that you’ll say yes. That may mean that you only had one drink eight hours ago, but the officer is likely hoping to use that admission to say they had reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop or to make an arrest.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to talk to the police officer at all. In most cases, you do still have to provide your driver’s license, your proof of insurance and your registration. 

But if the officer begins asking you other questions after you have given them this documentation, then you can use your right to remain silent. You can also tell them that you would like to have your lawyer present before answering any further questions, which is why it’s so important to understand all of your legal defense options.