Whether you had no drinks or only a few before heading home, you want to avoid worsening your situation if you encounter the police. Experience in law enforcement teaches cops a few things about those stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.
It is hard to fool seasoned California police officers, and you probably should not try because it could worsen your circumstances. Becoming belligerent or argumentative is also a poor response, so how should you deal with cops during a traffic stop?
Pull over safely
Some people panic when they see police car lights in the rearview mirror. Many brake quickly before and abruptly (and perhaps recklessly), driving onto the shoulder of the road. Instead, find a safe spot that does not endanger you, the officers or others and pull over carefully.
Be friendly and polite
Even though you have much at stake, avoid lashing out at peacekeepers. Instead, stay calm and polite, and offer a friendly smile when they approach your car. This small act of goodwill can let officers know that you do not intend to act against them, improving the situation for all.
Cooperate with the police
Don’t get mad at them or become combative, even if you’re sober and feel put upon. Chances are, they have a good reason for stopping you, even if it is a mistake on their part. Instead, follow their reasonable instructions while remaining cooperative and respectful throughout the traffic stop.
The time to assert your rights will come
Your initial encounter with the police is typically a poor time to defend yourself, even if your arguments are rational and valid. Instead, explore your DUI defense options with a professional trained to find holes in seemingly airtight drunk driving cases.