9. If the officer asks me if I have been drinking, how should I respond?

If a police officer asks, “Have you been drinking?”, your answer will be a significant factor in the officer’s decision to arrest you, and in the prosecution’s case against you if you are charged and tried for drunk driving. I believe such questions are “accusatory” in nature and you should respectfully decline to respond in a polite and courteous manner. I would suggest you respond, “I would like to speak with an attorney before I answer any questions”.

It must be remembered that the officer does have a right to certain information which the courts appear to look upon as routine questions. For example, what is your name, what is your address, what is your date of birth, etc. When the officer inquires into drinking, however, ask for an attorney as set forth above. The officer will them probably say you do not have a right to an attorney and ask you to answer the question. At this point, I think your best course of action would be to “respectfully” decline to answer. A good DUI attorney will give the jury some reason for your respectfully declining to answer the question.