As a DUI attorney in Illinois for almost two decades, I can't tell you how often I've been asked this question over the years…
“If I am stopped by the police for a possible DUI, should I answer all of their questions?”
I understand why people ask this to me–people often want to be friendly and cooperative with the police, but are unsure of whether their cooperation can end up being used against them in a trial.
An arresting officer for a DUI will often ask about the activities you engaged in before the arrest, whether you have consumed food recently, whether you have consumed alcohol and drugs and if so how much, whether you have any physical disabilities that the officer should know about, and other questions of a similar nature. If you are involved in an accident, the officer will also likely ask about the details of the accident.
The short answer is no, you shouldn't answer every question asked by the officer. You have to remember what the officer's job is when he suspects that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. His job is to access whether you were driving under the influence and to obtain evidence if he thinks you are intoxicated, and the officer will accomplish this by monitoring your conduct and asking you questions. There is a good chance that what you say to the officer may jeopardize your defense of a DUI charge, and politely refusing to answer questions will reduce the chances that you will say something that could be used against you in the courtroom. If you are involved in an accident, there is some information you must provide to the officer: your name, your address, and the vehicle registration number of your vehicle involved in the accident. The courts have held that even if you were involved in an accident, you still do not have an obligation to provide information that indicates guilt.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Illinois, feel free to contact the experienced attorneys at John W. Callahan, Ltd. at any time.
— Posted by DUI lawyer John W. Callahan
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