Pulled over for a DWI? What Not to Do

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You see the flashing blue lights behind you, and it is impossible for your adrenaline not to pump in overdrive. If the officer suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, there is no surefire way to get out of being charged, but there are several things that you should never do. Knowing what they are and avoiding them at all costs can help you make this very difficult situation as pain-free as possible.

Do Not Argue with the Officer Who Pulls You Over

You know that the officer who pulls you over needs reasonable cause for doing so. As such, if you were driving along, minding your own business, and following each and every rule of the road, you have every reason to question whether the officer actually had probable cause, but now is not the time to discuss the matter. This is an issue for your dedicated criminal defense attorney to address at a later date. The fact is that the office did pull you over, which means that the officer believes that he or she has probable cause, and the best course of action you can take at this point is to cooperate fully. (Read more: Pulled Over by the Police?)

Do Not Pressure the Officer to Provide You with Information

If you are arrested for DWI, the officer is required to read you your Miranda rights, and if he or she fails to do so, it can help your case in the long run. When you pressure the officer for information, you greatly increase the chances that he or she will segue into reading you your Miranda rights. The best plan is to sit quietly and see what happens. (Do Not Neglect to Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent)

Do Not Refuse the Breathalyzer

While not wanting to take a breathalyzer test is understandable, not doing so is not going to do you any favors. Further, these tests have a serious reputation for being unreliable, and there will be plenty of opportunities for questioning the veracity of yours down the road. All of the following factors can play a role:

  • The officer’s ability to administer and read the test correctly

  • Variance in results that relate to one’s medical condition

  • The effects of specific substances, such as mouthwash, on results

Further, failure to cooperate means that your license can be suspended for 180 days automatically upon your refusal, and this sets you up for negative consequences right out of the gate. (Read more about breathalyzer tests: New York Times Finds Breathalyzer Tests Unreliable)

If There Is Conflict Involved, Do Not Escalate It

If the news has taught us anything, it is that some people who are police officers should not be. If the officer who pulls you over treats you disrespectfully, intimidates you, or engages in any other kind of inappropriate behavior, do not rise to the bait. The fact is that the officer’s poor behavior could end up helping your case, and escalating the situation could lead to disaster. 

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Lawyer

Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has more than 20 years of impressive experience helping clients like you obtain beneficial case resolutions, and he is on your side. For more information, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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