You see the blue and red flashing lights through your rearview mirror. Instantly, you feel your heart sink.
“Did I run a stop sign? Was I going too fast?”
Maybe you are at fault for some offense, but if a cop suspects you are driving under the influence, there may be bigger consequences than receiving a traffic citation.
Here are five important things to remember if you are pulled over for a DWI:
Speak to the Officer As If You Are Speaking To Your Grandparent
Be polite, respectful, and composed. This is not the time to act erratically or emotionally. Your actions and responses will more than likely be recorded, which can affect your case and sentencing. If you are rude, the officer will be more inclined to write an incriminating police report, which can negatively affect you and your case.
Use Your Right to Remain Silent
Here’s the thing: You cannot talk your way out of a DWI. Being pulled over because an officer suspects you of being under the influence is not the same as being pulled over for speeding. The consequences for a DWI can be severe.
If you are intoxicated, speaking may make things worse. The officer may smell alcohol on your breath, or you may slur your words. Remember, the officer’s body cam is recording everything–including your conversation.
Do Not Admit You Were Drinking
Whether you had one beer or several shots, do not admit to drinking. It does not matter if you are over the legal BAC limit. This will not help with your case. At the same time, you should not lie if you had a drink. Again, use your right to remain silent.
You Can Refuse a Field Sobriety Tests
It is your right under the fifth amendment to refuse a field sobriety test. Even individuals who were sober have failed the field sobriety test. You may get arrested, but you were more than likely going to be anyway.
Do not risk further incrimination by taking the test. A DWI attorney may be able to reduce your penalties or have your case thrown out entirely. Failing a field sobriety test will not help in your favor.
Do Not Try to Fight Your Case on Your Own
Chances are you will not be successful in disputing a DWI charge in your favor. A DWI has serious consequences and should not be taken lightly. You could be facing a steep fine and/or jail time. It is in your best interest to call an attorney as soon as you have been arrested.
Write down everything you remember about your arrest– what you were doing prior to being pulled over, whether or not the officer read you your Miranda rights, etc. This can help your attorney fight the charges against you.
For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact the Gouner Law Office today.
Written by Ashley Boudreaux