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Every year from about Thanksgiving to the New Year, Minnesota law enforcement agencies increase their patrolling efforts with a special emphasis on impaired driving. They recognize the holidays as a high-risk time for drunk driving, and the arrest numbers support that. Ultimately, this means that a plan to celebrate the holidays with alcoholic drinks should also include a sober ride. Impaired driving is dangerous, and can result in a criminal charge that can cost you thousands and follow you for years.

If you do get pulled over, remember that you do have rights. While you do need to provide your license and proof of insurance, you also have the right to remain silent. This means you do not need to answer questions about where you have been or how much you have had to drink.

If the officer suspects impaired driving, they will most likely ask you to step out of the car for field sobriety testing. You do need to follow any instructions to get out, but are not required to complete the field sobriety tests. If you refuse all testing, you will likely be arrested based on the officer’s original suspicions. Once you get to the station, however, you should take the alcohol concentration test. Refusal to take the test at the station is a crime, and is usually more serious than the crime of being over the limit.

Remember that anything you say can be used against you. This is why, as a general rule, saying less is typically best. Aggravating your case by running away, attacking the police, or acting threatening could cause additional charges. Even if they are wrong, arguing with the police while they are investigating almost never benefits you. Instead, give us a call at your earliest opportunity so we can give you straight talk, honest answers, and a vigorous defense.