With the end of school, the fourth of July and summer parties comes underage drinking and driving. Being arrested is a scary experience for anyone. And if it's scary for an adult, imagine how much more so it must be for a child. Obviously, no one wants to receive a call that his/her child has been arrested for DUI. But just in case this nightmare turns into a reality, you may want to talk to your children about California DUI laws regarding juvenile interrogation.
If your child is stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, California police are permitted to ask him/her questions in order to determine whether or not he/she has been drinking and driving. If they believe he/she has been…and place him/her under arrest…they may try to trick him/her into confessing to the offense or into making other incriminating statements. Make sure you prepare him/her for this experience in the unfortunate event that he/she finds him/herself in this situation.
Because California laws permit officers to conduct juvenile interrogations outside the presence of the child's parents, parents should instruct their children to
- remain polite,
- truthfully give their full names,
- ask for a parent and a lawyer (even though neither will be immediately called),
- not apologize under any circumstances or say anything incriminating,
- try to remain calm and, above all else,
- invoke his/her right to remain silent.
Other than providing his/her identifying information, your child is under no obligation to provide any additional information/answers. The biggest mistake that any arrestee makes is believing that he/she can talk his/her way out of the situation…this may especially be the case for a child who has been drinking. Prepare him/her for the worst and hope he/she will never have to utilize this information.