In June I posted an article entitled “What Should I Have Done?” The purpose of the article was to clear up misconceptions about what to do should you get pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has created and made available a “Bust Card” which serves as a pocket-sized version of my article.
The purpose of the ACLU card is to have a script of what to do and what not to do readily available in the event that you are pulled over, approached by, and/or contacted by law enforcement. Unlike my article which was geared toward protecting rights during a DUI investigation, the ACLU Bust Card is much more broad and covers what to do if you are stopped for questioning, if you are stopped in your car, if you are questioned about your immigration status, if the police or immigration agents come to your home, if you are contacted by the FBI, and if you’re arrested.
Much of the advice is similar and applies whether you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence or some other crime. You have the right to remain silent whether you are under arrest or not. Tell law enforcement that you wish to remain silent. You have the right to refuse consent or yourself, your car, or your home. If you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave. You have the right to an attorney and you should ask for one immediately.
While the ACLU Bust Card is a good summary of what to do in many scenarios, it is not specific to driving under the influence. There is more that a person can do to protect themselves when they are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Review my prior post found here.
It should be made clear that the purpose of both my article and the ACLU Bust Card is not to avoid responsibility if and when you commit a crime or to bust the chops of the officer, but rather inform the public of their constitutional rights. There is nothing wrong with invoking your rights. In fact, in order for our justice system to work properly, citizens need to invoke their constitutional rights.
Don’t forget what to say in order to protect your rights!