Drinking and driving: what to do when stopped by police

When you see the flashing police lights behind you and you've been drinking, what should you do?

Peder Arneson, a longtime criminal defense lawyer, said it is smart to comply with field sobriety tests. You do not have the right to a lawyer during the field sobriety tests, nor do you have that right when obligated to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine.

"If you don't submit to the chemical test, they can forcibly take blood from you, you can have higher penalties, and you can be charged with violating Wisconsin's implied consent law," Arneson said. "Refusal to submit to a field test may be considered consciousness of guilt."

He also advises:

  • Be respectful to the officer and the process.
  • Do not volunteer additional information.
  • Seek legal advice, whether you are innocent or guilty, to help navigate the legal system.

For more information on criminal law, contact us at 608-784-5678.

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