What to do when pulled over for suspected DWI or DUI, from Austin’s top DWI Attorney
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IF PULLED OVER FOR SUSPECTED DWI:
Smile, you’re on camera! Police cameras capture every moment of every traffic stop. It is important to be kind and courteous at all times throughout your exchange. Remember, if you are within earshot of the officer, your voice is being recorded as well.
Pull over as quickly and safely as possible. If it is impossible to pull over safely at the moment you are being signaled, reduce your speed and use your blinker to alert the officer of your intent to move off the roadway at the first available area.
Set your brake, roll down all of your windows ALL THE WAY, turn off your music, and put your hands on the top of your steering wheel. This gives the officer a clear vision into the cab of the vehicle and lets them know you are aware of your surroundings, which builds an important sense of trust and calmness in your officer. If you have been pulled over before, these common sense instructions are easy to do before the officer approaches and make you appear more likeable to the officer and potential jury later on.
Understand the officer is NOT your friend. The officer’s only job at this point is to build a case against you. Remain polite, but do not make any self-incriminating statements. Officers will often tell you that cooperation is the easiest way ensure everything will fine, but DO NOT TAKE THE BAIT. They are trying to build a case against you.
Provide your name, license, and proof of insurance. You should have these items readily available and present them upon request. Officers are sometimes concerned with drivers reaching for weapons, so it is fine to wait for specific instructions at this point.
Exercise your rights. Officers are trained to interrogate using different techniques. They may start out friendly and develop into intimidation. Don’t fall for the trap. Do not admit to drinking, Refuse to perform the roadside tests, and refuse a breath or blood test. Your answers are considered self-admissions, so the less you say the better.
Step out of the car when asked. The camera is still rolling so be polite and try not to lean on anything for balance.
Refuse field sobriety tests. Such tests are designed to make you fail and whether you “pass” or not is solely up to the officer, so it is best to politely refuse them. For example, “I have the right to refuse so I am going to invoke my right.” should suffice.
Refuse the breathalyzer and blood test. Again, “I have the right to refuse so I am going to invoke my right.” should suffice. If you are asked to take a breathalyzer or blood test, you are almost certainly going to be arrested . Your main concern at this point is avoiding a DWI conviction. Many times, an officer will threaten that your license will be suspended for refusal to take these tests. Suspension of your driver’s license is not a certainty. In the event your license is suspended, we can obtain a permit to drive for work, school and necessities until your suspension has run.
You will be placed under arrest. Once the officer has read your rights, express that you are exercising your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
Back of the car: Remember, you are still on camera! Keep quiet after being placed in the back of the patrol car. Do not strike up a conversation, answer any more questions, and do not go to sleep. Always remain polite and courteous.
CALL PAUL ASAP. There is a limited amount of time to protect your driver’s license after an arrest. Call Batrice Law Firm immediately to discuss next steps.