If an officer asks me whether I have had anything to drink, what should I say?

If you have been drinking, then do not deny it. The police will probably have already smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath so if you deny drinking, it will only label you a liar in the officer’s mind. If the odor is coming from the car itself or your clothes then by all means explain what had happened (spilled drink, etc), but if the odor is from your breath, then saying you had a few drinks does not serve as an admission that you are drunk and will help to explain the odor on your breath.

Importantly, do not lie. If you cannot honestly tell the truth without incriminating yourself, then you should respectfully decline to answer any questions about your drinking. You should be aware that it is a crime in Ohio to knowingly make a false statement for the purpose of misleading a law enforcement officer. R.C. 2921.13(A)(3).

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