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Steering Clear When Pulled Over for a DWI

Getting pulled over by the police can be scary, particularly if it’s late at night and you’ve had a drink or two. In such a high-stress moment, it’s easy to make mistakes that could complicate the situation. Understanding what not to do is crucial, so here’s a rundown of the most common pitfalls to steer clear of it you ever find yourself pulled over for a suspected DWI offense.

Believing You Can’t Be Arrested for Sleeping in Your Car

Some people mistakenly believe that if they’re pulled over in a parking lot or on the side of the road, they’re safe from DWI charges. However, you can be charged with DWI even if the vehicle is not moving. You may even be arrested on private property if you are in an area the public can access, like a bar’s parking lot.

Losing your Cool

The flashing lights in your rearview mirror can trigger panic mode. However, it’s crucial to keep your composure. Signs of nervousness and signs of intoxication can overlap. Panic can lead to erratic behavior, which may make the officer suspicious.

Information Overload

During a stop, less is often more. Offering unsolicited information to an officer is a bad idea. Police can equate “talkative” or “chatty” behavior as a symptom of potential alcohol or drug intoxication. Politely provide your license and registration when asked but avoid unnecessary conversation.

Admitting to Drinking

You may assume being honest with an officer will help you out in the long run. This is not the case when admitting to drinking any amount of alcohol before operating a vehicle (even just a little bit!) You might think admitting to “just one beer” shows honesty, but it can actually provide the officer with the probable cause they need to investigate further.

Performing Field Sobriety Tests

You are not legally required to perform field sobriety tests such as walking in a straight line or standing on one foot. They are voluntary. These subjective tests can be used as evidence against you, even if you’re not actually impaired and are following the instructions to the best of your ability. Be sure to tell the officer about any prior injuries or medical conditions that may affect your ability to balance.

Consenting to a Blood or Breath Test

Refusing a breath test or blood draw can lead to penalties, such as license suspension. However, taking the test and failing can provide concrete evidence of intoxication.

Being Combative with Officers

If you are arrested, resisting could lead to additional charges and could make you appear guilty. Remember, most police encounters are recorded, and that recording could be played to a judge or jury deciding your case one day.

Discussing Your Case on Social Media

The things you share on social media could be used against you in court. Publicly discussing the details of your case or posting photos with alcohol while your case is pending can backfire.

Assuming the State Can Prove the Case

Being charged does not equate to guilt. The prosecution must prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt. Rigorous defense strategies can expose the “reasonable doubts” in the prosecutor’s case.

Failing to Consult a Lawyer

Perhaps the most critical mistake is not seeking legal advice as soon as possible after a DWI arrest. A qualified DWI attorney works knowledgeably and skillfully to protect your rights and interests by challenging the prosecution’s case and the evidence against you.

The road following a DWI arrest is fraught with potential missteps. By sidestepping these common pitfalls, you position yourself for a stronger defense. It’s essential to stay informed about your rights and seek the counsel of a qualified attorney who can guide you through the legal process.

The post Steering Clear When Pulled Over for a DWI appeared first on Attorney at Law Magazine.

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