What to Do When Pulled Over for a DUI

January 5, 2021

Getting pulled over by the police can be extremely stressful. The police used to need reasonable suspicion to pull you over and demand a breath sample to see if you had been consuming alcohol. Thus, they had to suspect you had been consuming alcohol by noticing signs of impairment before they could demand a sample.  Whereas police no longer require reasonable suspicion to demand you blow into an Approved Screening Device (ASD), they do require reasonable suspicion that you have drugs in your body to demand an oral drug sample with Approved Drug Screening Equipment (ADSE). Refusing to comply with a demand, without a reasonable excuse, results in an automatic criminal charge that carries with it both a fine of not less than $2,000 and a driving prohibition of not less than one year upon conviction.  

While it is no substitute for legal advice, the following guide may prove useful should you get pulled over by the police for a DUI in Manitoba:

1.    Promptly Pull Over to a Safe Place: You can rest assured the police will observe how and when you pull over after they flash their lights at you. Should you take too long to park, drive erratically while doing so, or park in an unsafe place, red flags will get raised. The police will likely make note of those concerns.

2.    Do Not Make Sudden Movements: Any sudden movements will understandably set the police on guard. Though it may be easier said than done, try keeping calm. Remain seated in your vehicle unless instructed otherwise and place your hands on the wheel where the police can see them.


3.    Be Polite: As the adage goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” No one likes it when people are rude to them. Police are no different. You are not going to do yourself any favours by being rude and argumentative.


4.   Do Not Incriminate Yourself: Although it is necessary to show the police your licence and registration when they request it, you do not have to tell them whether you were drinking. If they decide to check your sobriety with an ASD or ADSE and you fail, they will have grounds to arrest you and request you take a breathalyzer or provide a blood sample.


5.    Call a Lawyer: Although the ASD and the ADSE are administered before you can speak with a lawyer, you have the right to speak with one before taking a breathalyzer or providing a blood sample. If you have been charged with an impaired driving offence, hiring an experienced criminal defence lawyer to defend you in court could prevent you from ending up with a criminal record, substantial fines, a driving prohibition, and potential Manitoba Public Insurance penalties. Should you decide to plead guilty, hiring a lawyer might result in you receiving a more lenient sentence. Call Jason Malloy for a free consultation to get more information and discuss your options.

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Jason Malloy is an associate lawyer at the Theodore L. Mariash Law Office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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