What to Do If You Get Pulled Over for DWI
Here’s a number that’s way too high: In 2013, there were more than 7,500 DWI arrests in Texas with nearly half of those complying with blood sample testing. Many of those drivers would have been able to avoid a blood test had they known the rules of engagement and how to best avoid receiving a DWI.
If you choose to drink and drive, having a DWI on your record might become the least of your worries. Nobody wants to be responsible for an accident due to driving while intoxicated. However, if you do find yourself on the road after a few drinks, and you see those red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror, there are a few things you can do that just might save you from getting a DWI.
What to Do If You Get Pulled Over
Provide Driver’s License and Proof of Insurance: This may seem like common sense but many drivers roam the road without their license or proof of insurance handy. The officer has a right to ask for these items, so have them on you and hand them over without argument.
Don’t Be a Jerk: Don’t try to prove how tough you are or how big of a jerk you can be. This attitude will only increase your chances of landing in the slammer. Being respectful to the officer will go a long way regarding his or her decision of letting you drive yourself home.
When You Get Pulled Over, What Are Your Rights?
Don’t Answer Any Questions: You can reserve the right to remain silent. A police officer may ask you questions just like, “Have you been drinking tonight?” Answering that question can be very detrimental because even in this case, anything you say can and will be used against you. If the officer becomes belligerent or demanding, request a lawyer. Simply tell the officer: “I choose to invoke my right to remain silent and request an attorney.”
Avoid Sobriety Tests: Too often, drivers suspected of being intoxicated put themselves in a vulnerable position when performing sobriety tests, which include difficult balancing acts and visual tests. Avoid performing these because even if you haven’t been drinking, your balance may be less than formidable. Recently, I spoke to a class of High School Seniors at 10:00 a.m. and not one student was able to pass the standard field sobriety tests. Were they all intoxicated? No. The tests are simply designed for failure.
Also, if offered a preliminary, portable breath test, you can and should refuse. The portable breath test given in the field is not forensically acceptable or nor reliable as evidence.
Keep Your Blood: When an officer requests you provide a blood sample, simply refuse to comply. This blood isn’t going to be sent off to save lives in a blood drive. It could, however, send you off to jail and ruin your life. It is within your rights to refuse this request. However, even if you refuse, the police can get a warrant to take your blood. If this happens, do not fight the blood draw or you could be charged with obstructing a police investigation or resisting arrest.
Every citizen has the right to refuse these aforementioned requests. Know that you are not breaking the law by refusing them, even when they are put to you by an officer of the law. When refusing to comply with these requests, remember to remain calm and respectful.
The Best DWI Lawyers in Houston
Police methods for determining the level of intoxication of a driver are quite flawed. When it comes to DWIs, our team at Thiessen Law Firm understands the law and knows when a driver’s rights have been infringed. If you or a loved one is facing a DWI charge, you know who to contact.