What to Do if Stopped for DWI
Being stopped at night by a police officer after consuming a couple of drinks can be an extremely nerve-racking experience. Stress, pressure, and fear of arrest are some of the intense emotions that run through your body at a time like this, and who knows how many additional thoughts are rushing through your mind. In the midst of all this, the officer expects you to perform 100% perfectly on any sobriety tests given. He or she is not concerned with what is going on in your personal life, what the weather conditions are like, what the traffic conditions are, or how tired you might be. Officers will arrest you if you are not 100% perfect.
We advise everyone that if you, for whatever reason, feel uncomfortable when asked to perform any field sobriety test or chemical test, politely tell the officer you are not going to do any tests until you talk to a lawyer. You are being investigated for a crime. Officers learn that if they ever get investigated for a crime or wrongdoing – they should say and do nothing until they talk to a lawyer. Why should you do anything different?
Further, when officers are trained in standardized field sobriety tests, they are required to perform 100% perfectly to become certified. It is not uncommon for officers to have difficulty the first time they attempt the same tests they are requiring you to perform flawlessly. Even though you only get one chance to be perfect, the officers are given several opportunities to perfect their performance, and they have no fear of going to jail.
Field sobriety tests are voluntary. You do not have to attempt them. If you are uncomfortable attempting these tests or are unsure about what to do, politely tell the officer you are not going to perform any tests until you talk to a lawyer.
There are several different ways you can accomplish this. The following suggestions are some acceptable approaches when speaking to the officer:
- “Officer, before I decide to take your tests, I have to speak with a lawyer.”
- “Officer, I am not going to do any tests until I talk to a lawyer.”
- “Officer, I will gladly attempt any test if you allow me to talk to a lawyer first.”
Keep in mind that the officer is going to tell you that you are not entitled to a lawyer at that time, and you must make your own decision. Entitled or not:
- You do not have to attempt the tests, and
- Nothing prohibits the officer from allowing you to call a lawyer.
Remember, if you are stopped after having anything to drink, you are being investigated for a crime that carries serious consequences. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Contact Us Today
As DUI/DWI criminal defense attorneys in Texas, we have a proven record of winning that we can put to work for you. In addition to our superior litigation skills, we’ve guided many people about the penalties of a conviction and drunk driving with a concealed handgun charges.
If being convicted of a DUI/DWI is not an option, contact The Wilder Firm for a FREE CASE CONSULTATION by calling 469-227-0772 or by filling out the form below: