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What should I do if I get pulled over on suspicion of a DWI?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | DWI Defense |

Getting pulled over by the police is stressful. If the officer tells you that the reason is suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the situation is even more anxiety-inducing.

Knowing how to respond and act can make a significant difference in the outcome of the stop and any legal proceedings. Consider the following tips for minimizing potential problems.

Stay calm and generally cooperative

It is important to keep your composure and comply with whatever is a reasonable request. When the officer first approaches your vehicle, be polite and follow instructions. Keep your hands visible and avoid making any sudden movements that could escalate the situation.

When the officer asks for your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, provide them promptly. It is true that you have the Fifth Amendment right to stay silent, but the police have the right to see these documents from anyone driving a vehicle.

Keep conversation to a minimum

Of course, you should be truthful when interacting with the officer. However, avoid overexplaining yourself. Once you supply your license and registration, you have the right to politely decline to reply to any questions.

For example, if the office asks whether you have been drinking, you can state that you prefer not to answer. In general, try to limit your conversation with the officer to avoid providing any unnecessary information.

Understand your options for refusing requests

If the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, do so calmly. If he or she asks to search your vehicle, you have the right to refuse politely. Even if you are sure you have nothing incriminating inside, denying this request can prevent any unwelcome surprises. On the other hand, you must comply if the officer clearly demands to search the vehicle because of having probable cause.

When it comes to field sobriety testing, you have the right to refuse on the spot, usually without repercussions. However, Texas is an implied consent state when it comes to breath tests. If you refuse such a test, the officer has the right to arrest you and suspend your license. Be aware that you have the option of fighting these charges at a later time.

Getting pulled over on suspicion of a DWI can be a nerve-racking experience. Remaining calm and knowing your rights can help you navigate the situation with confidence and potentially mitigate any legal consequences.