If I’m Stopped for DUI, What Should I Do?

Protecting Your Rights When Dealing with Nashville Law Enforcement

Getting pulled over by the police is almost always nerve wracking, even if you didn’t do anything wrong. But what if you had a beer or a glass of wine at dinner? Even if you feel fine, you may become nervous. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers at Larsen Law PLLC know the best methods for defending clients, but how you handle the traffic stop can make a difference to your defense.

First and foremost, be polite and respectful at all times. Pull over in a safe location. Remain seated and leave your seatbelt on.  Have your license, registration, and proof of insurance ready to hand over to the officer. If the officer who pulls you over believes you are under the influence, he will likely ask you to perform some field sobriety tests. The law does not require you to take field sobriety tests, and you should politely refuse to take them. Politely decline to answer any questions that would incriminate you and politely decline consent for officer to search your car. Make a mental note of all police statements and actions. 

At Larsen Law PLLC, our Franklin criminal defense lawyer represents those facing criminal charges through effective defense. Call us for a free consultation to learn more.

Get started on your case today by dialing (615) 933-2454 or contacting Larsen Law PLLC online.

Not Guilty
1st Degree Premeditated Murder & Conspiracy to Commit 1st Degree Premeditated Murder - Not Guilty after 4 days of trial, and 5 hours of jury deliberations.

What Makes Us Different?

Experienced. Trusted. Respected.
  • Relentless Advocate for All Clients
  • Trial Tested. Proven Track Record.
    Sometimes going to trial is necessary. Attorney Eric Larsen is not afraid to do so if it's in the best interest of the client.
  • Respected Amongst His Peers

    Eric’s ability to maneuver through both trial advocacy and negotiations have earned him the respect of prosecutors, law enforcement, and the judiciary, which often leads to results that exceed client expectations.

Avoiding a DUI Conviction

The easiest way to avoid a DUI charge is, of course, not to drink and drive at all. However, the law doesn't penalize all drinking and driving, and if you're under the legal BAC limit, you're fine. For most people, though, knowing exactly where that limit is can be difficult. So, what should you do if you're pulled over on suspicion of DUI? Here, we offer some tips to help you protect yourself. It is important to note that every police stop is different. The below is meant to serve as a general guide, not legal advice. Don't drink and drive.

How to React

As with any interaction with a law enforcement officer, remember to be respectful and compliant. Pull over in a safe spot; have your driver's license, registration, and insurance information handy; and keep your hands on the steering wheel.

While cooperation with law enforcement is key, you should be mindful of how much you divulge and what constitutes an unreasonable request on the part of the police officer.

Typically, the officer will ask that you perform a field sobriety test and blow into a Breathalyzer. Tennessee is an implied consent state, meaning police can test your blood, urine, or breath if you're driving on Tennessee roads. However, you can still refuse to do so, though it will result in losing your license for a year.

Always remember that you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to admit any information to the police.

After a DUI stop, contacting a lawyer—or calling someone who can help you get legal representation—is important. You shouldn't face these charges alone.

Schedule your free consultation with Larsen Law PLLC today. Dial (615) 933-2454 now.

Field Sobriety Tests 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you were most likely asked to complete field sobriety tests. These tests are supposed to assist the officer in determining if you are impaired. 

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – During this test, the officer will hold a stimulus (a pen or his finger) out in front of your eyes 12-18 inches. You must keep your head still and follow the stimulus with movement of your eyes only. The officer will slowly move the stimulus from side to side looking for Nystagmus - involuntary jerking of your eyes. 

Walk-and-Turn Test – This test is otherwise known as the 9-step walk-and-turn. During this test, you’ll be directed to stand with one foot in front of the other, heal to toe, and take nine steps, heal to toe, down an imaginary line. Once you reach your 9th step, you are directed to make a turn, leaving the front foot planted, and then return to the starting position with another 9 steps back. 

One-Leg Stand – The final test requires that you stand with your hands at your side and lift one foot off the ground approximately inches and count to 30. 

At Larsen Law PLLC, an advantage we provide for our clients is the knowledge and understanding of how these tests are supposed to be conducted and how they are scored. Attorney Eric M. Larsen is certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration, just like law enforcement, to administer these tests. He took the same class and passed the same certification tests. Armed with this knowledge, we can pick apart errors in delivering the SFST to poke holes in the state’s case. 


Blood and Breath Tests

In Tennessee, we rarely see breath tests anymore. The State has gone to blood tests as the preferred chemical test to determine someone’s blood-alcohol level. Your BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) is the measure of alcohol in your blood. A measurement of .08% or above creates a presumption of intoxication. The higher the number the more intoxicated the person should be. 

Some lawyers will just accept this number as accurate and reliable. At Larsen Law PLLC, we take a deep dive into the science of the test to challenge the reliability of that measurement. After all, the officers and lab workers that handle your blood are human and humans make errors. We’ve been able to secure reductions in DUI offenses by pointing out errors in the testing data. 

Implied Consent

If you are arrested for DUI, the officer will likely ask you to consent to a blood or breath test. If you refuse, you’ll also be charged with an Implied Consent Violation. The Tennessee Implied Consent law says that anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Tennessee has given consent to a chemical test if an officer has probable cause to believe that the driver is under the influence. In most cases, you have a right to refuse to give consent. However, you will be provided with notice that a refusal to give consent may result in revocation of your driver’s license. In most refusal cases, the officer will then get a search warrant to have your blood drawn. 


Larsen Law PLLC Larsen Law PLLC
Above and beyond what I ever expected.

Start Your Defense

Schedule a Free Case Review
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
Ready to get Started?