What To Do When You Are Pulled Over
If a police or highway patrol officer pulls you over for suspected DWI in Texas, there are certain things you should and should not do to improve your chances in a criminal DWI case.
When you see flashing red lights in your rear-view mirror, you may break out in a sweat or get upset, even if you haven’t been drinking alcohol. While it may be difficult to remain calm, it is important that you don’t overreact to being pulled over.
The consequences of a drunk-driving conviction can be severe. You want to do everything you can to increase your chances of not being charged at all or of successfully defending yourself after a DWI, BWI or DUI arrest.
How To Avoid Problems If You’re Stopped For DWI/Drunk Driving In Texas
Criminal defense lawyer Stephen H. Miller recommends that you follow these legally sound guidelines if you are pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Please note that following these steps will often result in your arrest for drunk driving and you risk losing your driver’s license. However, your DWI defense will be much stronger without blood alcohol content test results and with no admission of guilt.
- Have your driver’s license and proof of insurance ready and provide them to the officer.
- Don’t get out of the car and don’t volunteer any information. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself. Use it. Don’t answer any questions you are asked about drinking and driving – or anything else.
- Be polite and respectful to the officer. Keep your emotions in check even if you think it is an illegal stop without probable cause. Follow basic instructions such as keeping your hands visible, and cooperate with the officer’s reasonable requests.
- Don’t do or say anything without first consulting a lawyer. A lawyer can advise you about your rights, whether you should make a statement to the officer, whether you should take a breath test and what the likely consequences of your actions will be.
- Assert your right to talk with an attorney. The officer may say that this right is not yet in effect or it’s not necessary. You have the right to request counsel when you are being accused of a crime such as DWI. You have the right to a lawyer.
- Do not perform any field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line or touching your nose, no matter how insistent the officer is. Police officers ask drivers to perform these tests in order to build probable cause for blood, breath or urine tests.
- If you have been drinking, you may want to refuse portable chemical breath tests such as a Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer. While you do risk losing your driver’s license if you refuse, you may avoid harsher penalties.
- Challenge your license suspension ASAP. If you are arrested for DWI, your driver’s license will be suspended. You have only 15 days to request a hearing to challenge an alcohol-related driver’s license suspension. If you request the hearing, you may qualify for an occupational driver’s license.
Contact Plano DWI Defense Lawyer Stephen H. Miller
If you have been pulled over for suspected drunk driving or you are facing DWI charges or driver’s license suspension, call us at 972-578-7097 or email our Plano law office right away. You can reach us 24 hours a day by phone.