DWI Stops - 9 Step Survival Guide
DWI Stops - 9 Step Survival Guide
Out late hanging out with your friends and having a good time? If you get pulled over for DWI it could really ruin your night, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin your life. Here’s what you need to know.
01 UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WILL (PROBABLY) BE GOING TO JAIL
You don’t have to commit a crime to get arrested. If you’re being pulled over and the officer suspects that you’ve been drinking, YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL. There is nothing you can do to avoid this; you are not in control of that decision, the officer is. The only question is how much “evidence” are the cops going to collect before they arrest you. That you can control.
02 DON’T PANIC
Yea I know, I just told you that you’re going to jail and now I’m telling you not to panic. If you still believe that you are in control of the situation (remember, you’re not) then it is understandable to panic. Truth be told, there is never a greater reason to stay calm: I’ve already told you the probable outcome of this police encounter and that there is nothing you can do to avoid it.
03 STAY CLAM
There is no need to treat the situation any different from a regular traffic stop. Calmly pull over to a safe area and gather your driver’s license and insurance. By law, you are required to turn these items over to the officer.
04 SMILE…YOU’RE ON CAMERA
Being on your best behavior goes a long way in establishing that you are in control of your mental faculties (an important legal issue for trial) and that you are genuinely a nice person (an important practical issue for a jury). The officer that pulls you over may be overbearing, rude, or insulting. That doesn’t mean you should be. Your interaction with the officer is going to be recorded on a vehicle dashcam and an officer bodycam so don’t worry if you feel like the officer is mistreating you or. The truth will be on video.
05 REFUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS & ASSERT YOURRIGHTS
When the officer makes contact with you, he or she is going to ask a series of questions. By law you are required to give them your name, address, and date of birth. If any other questions are asked, DO NOT ANSWER THEM. Don’t answer any questions about whether you’ve been drinking or not. Don’t answer any questions about the types of drinks you had. Don’t answer questions about where you are going to or coming from. Respectfully state that “I would like to remain silent and have counsel present before answering any questions”.
06 CAT AND MOUSE
At this point the officer will press you for answers. He will tell you that they are just trying to do their job, that he just want to see if you are okay to drive, or that if you don’t talk to them that he’s going to have to arrest you. Worse, the officer may try and put words into your mouth and try to get you to yell out “Whoa, that’s not true!” Remember Rule #1: you’re probably going to jail. The only question is how much “evidence” are you going to give the cops. Don’t give them any; refuse to answer any questions. It may be extremely awkward to have someone ask you questions and to just sit there silently. Do not shake your head or shrug your shoulders while remaining silent. The officer, the judge, and the jury will take these as signs that you are answering the questions. If you feel the need to say something, simply invoke your right to remain silent again…and again…and again.
07 REFUSE THE SOBRIETY TESTS
If the officer hasn’t asked you to get out of the car by now, he will. Don’t argue with him; calmly exit your vehicle. The officer will then ask you to take a series of tests. He may not ask you explicitly, but it always starts with him asking you to look at a light and following it with your eyes. This is the beginning of the sobriety test. Again, politely refuse to take the test and invoke your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. To be clear, the sobriety tests are graded according to the officer’s opinion. You will not be passing this test because the officer is looking for any excuse to arrest you; don’t give him one.
08 REFUSE TO GIVE A BREATH/BLOOD SPECIMEN
At this point the officer will most likely arrest you. He will ask for a specimen of your breath or blood. Again, politely refuse. Without any physical evidence, it is difficult to get a conviction in court. The officer may obtain a warrant for your blood at which point the officer may restrain you and a licensed healthcare professional will draw your blood. There is no reason to forcibly resist if this occurs. Once an officer gets a warrant for your blood, he is legally authorized to get a sample of your blood.
09 REFUSE, REFUSE, REFUSE
The best way to beat your case is to refuse, refuse, refuse. Refuse to answer questions, refuse to take any sobriety tests, and refuse to give a sample of your blood or breath. Without any statements from you, any physical tests from you, or any physical evidence from you, a conviction will prove quite difficult.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorneys Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DWI, you need to retain an aggressive and experienced San Antonio DWI defense attorney who knows how the system works and how to build a successful defense for you.
Schedule your free consultation today (866) 986-2436.
Related: What Happens After a Second Texas DWI Offense?