If you are stopped under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you will very likely experience immense concern. After all, a conviction can wreak havoc on your future, including your employability, your ability to obtain financial aid or to rent a home, and more. Understanding the following three important considerations related to a DWI arrest can help ensure that you know how best to proceed if you are ever pulled over.
Do Not Become Chatty
If you are stopped by the police, you are obviously going to be nervous, and some of us become chatty when nervous. Now, however, is not the time. From the moment the officer makes the decision to pull you over in the first place, he or she will attempt to gather evidence against you. It is part of the officer's job to encourage you to relay incriminating information in response to the questions he or she asks, and many are very good at this task. If you are pulled over, keep all of the following in mind:
- Remain as calm as you can
- Be courteous to the officer
- Answer the officer’s administrative questions (such as your name and address) honestly and succinctly
- Do not volunteer information
It is important to remember that everything you say to the officer can later be used as evidence against you.
The Breathalyzer Test
If you are stopped for suspected DWI, you will probably be required to take a Breathalyzer test. If you fail this test, you will likely be charged with DWI, but this is not necessarily the end of the matter. Breathalyzer machines can be unreliable – especially those that do not receive necessary calibration and maintenance. In other words, your test could have rendered inaccurate results. Additionally, the arresting officer may not have administered the test appropriately. Though this faulty administration can be difficult to prove, it is important to take every detail of your arrest into careful consideration, including the administration of your breathalyzer test.
The Arresting Officer
The officer who stops you must adhere to specific protocols that protect your rights throughout the process, and if he or she fails to do so, it can affect the outcome of your case. A few of the primary specifications include:
- The officer must have probable cause for pulling you over in the first place (a hunch or gut instinct will not suffice).
- The officer must be able to provide a lawful and reasonable reason for stopping you and must be able to clearly articulate that reason.
- Field sobriety tests must be administered properly.
You Need an Experienced Attorney on Your Side
The consequences of a DWI conviction can be extremely serious. If you are facing such charges, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is well prepared to fight for your rights and to help protect your best interests. We care about your case, so please contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.