While driving after drinking alcohol is never recommended, if you end up getting pulled over for driving under the influence in Massachusetts, you need to recognize your basic rights. For example, you need to understand whether or not you need to talk to the police and answer questions.
Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes a right against self-incrimination. This Amendment provides a person to the right to decline to answer question from law enforcement in regard to an alleged crime or criminal charges. The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination extends to a DUI stop. A criminal defense attorney typically advises that making statements to and answering questions from police during a stop should be avoided.
Information police can obtain during a DUI stop
While you generally do not have to answer questions from law enforcement during a DUI stop, there is some basic information that you are legally obliged to provide to them. The provision of this type of information is not considered to be a violation of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination:
- Your name and providing a police officer with your driver’s license
- Providing a police officer with your automobile insurance information
- Providing a police officer with your automobile registration information
There is no need to be aggressive when declining to respond to questions from law enforcement during a DUI stop. Rather, you need only politely and clearly advice a police officer that you want to talk to a lawyer and do not want to answer any questions at this time. Indeed, you should not consent to a police interview regarding an alleged DUI until you consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will advise as to whether you should respond to questioning by the police.