The last thing you want to see when driving home is red and blue lights appearing in your rearview mirror, especially if there is a chance you were driving under the influence (DUI). An officer may pull you over for the way you were driving or a defective piece of vehicle equipment like a brake light. You know you have to pull over, but you may be unsure of what to do after that.

You have rights when pulled over, but there are some things you must do, which includes giving the officer your license, proof of insurance and registration. Keeping those items in an easily accessible place will prevent you from having to dig around for them in the event you need them.

You do not have to answer questions.

While you should be polite and courteous to the officer that pulled you over, you do not and should not admit to anything. An officer may ask if you had been drinking, and even just admitting to one drink gives the officer reason to investigate further.

An officer may ask you to submit to a chemical test, which can be blood, breath or urine, to determine your blood alcohol content. When you applied for your license, you gave implied consent to chemical and field sobriety tests to determine impairment. Refusing to take the test could keep the prosecution from having substantial evidence for a DUI conviction. However, if you are pulled over, do not agree to the test and there is no warrant requiring you to perform it, you could face consequences like the loss of a license.

Do not fight alone

If arrested for DUI, an officer should inform you of your constitutional rights, which include the right to an attorney. An attorney will not only defend you against the charges against you and minimize the impact of refusing a chemical test. They can help you understand the process and advise you on what questions to answer when questioned throughout the investigation.