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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

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Know When to Keep Quiet: What You Should Never Say If You are Arrested for Drunk Driving

Being accused of and possibly arrested for drunk driving is an intimidating experience. Your first instinct might be to try to talk your way out of it, especially if you feel it’s a crime you haven’t committed.

Unfortunately, what you say can get you into as much trouble as actually committing the crime.

Of course, if you have been drinking, it can be tough to control what you say – at least more so than when you are clear-headed and thinking straight. For this reason, it’s better to provide only your identifying information and stay otherwise tight-lipped until you have an attorney working with you.

If it’s impossible to stay completely silent, at the very least avoid saying things that will get you into more trouble.

What are some of the things you should never, ever say if you are arrested for drunk driving?

“How Dare You Accuse Me of Drunk Driving!”

This, or anything else that could be considered impolite or accusatory, will only worsen the situation.

The best thing you can do when confronted by law enforcement is to be polite. Obviously, this can be a challenge, but it’s going to help you in the long run.

Ty to remember, he or she is only doing a job and has no personal vendetta against you. Anything you say or do could be misconstrued and lead to enhanced charges against you.

If you believe you are being mistreated, you have a right to speak up, but do so politely. For instance, if an officer is using too much force, state “You are hurting me,” but do as little as possible to escalate the situation. Hopefully, you’ll deal with an officer who is professional and acting according to law, but if not, you’ll have time to deal with it later. Your strategy should be to get through the situation without being injured and then consult your attorney about the details of the arrest later.

“Don’t You Know Who I Am?”

Nothing good will come from claiming you know someone in a position of authority and that you’re implying he or she will get you out of the trouble you’ve found yourself in.

Though it might be tempting to let the arresting officer know “who you are,” it’s not going to help your case. Instead, it will look as if you are trying to get away with doing something wrong – because you are – based on who you know. If who you are or who you know is going to help you, that information will come to light as your case moves along.

Of course, in an ideal world, “knowing” someone won’t have a bearing on how a person is treated after committing a crime, nor should you ever expect it to help you.

“I’ll Fight This!” or “You’re Wrong!” or “The Charges Won’t Stick”

Or any other of the thousands of things you can say that will irritate the officer and make him or her less likely to go easy on you if an opportunity arises in the future to do so. You want as many people not angry with you as possible during this entire episode, so don’t say anything at any point that will be construed as questioning authority or arguing.

If the officer is mistaken about your condition and you aren’t too intoxicated to drive, this will be proven through the chemical tests that are administered. And if you have made the mistake of driving after a few too many drinks, the case against you still needs to be airtight. You’re better off being polite, following directions, and asking to speak to an attorney before you do anything else.

To learn more about what the prosecution is going to need to prove at your trial, check out this information from

“I’m Almost Home.”

As beneficial as it might seem to persuade the officer to let you drive those last few miles to your destination because, after all, it’s a short distance – what could go wrong? – you just admitted you shouldn’t be driving.

Later, your plea to just go a little further will be used against you. Furthermore, it’s not going to help you now. The officer isn’t going to let you drive any further if he or she believes you are drunk, and you all but admitted that’s the case.

If you’ve been accused of driving while intoxicated or you have questions about how to behave in this situation, we can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594.

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