Every instance in which you are pulled over by the police is nerve-racking. This holds true even if you didn’t do anything wrong, as the officer probably has a different view on things.
However, if you’re pulled over for suspicion of DWI, your situation is even more serious. An arrest and subsequent conviction can result in a variety of penalties, including but not limited to, prison time, a fine, license suspension and insurance premium cancellation. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the potential impact on your career.
Understanding the situation
Knowing how to approach a DWI traffic stop can help you prevent an arrest. Here’s what you should do:
- Pull over and stay where you are: Don’t give the officer any reason to believe you’re a threat or that you don’t know what you’re doing. Stay in your seat with your hands on the wheel.
- Never admit to anything: The officer may ask you if you’ve been drinking. They may also ask where you’re going. Keep your answers short. For example, a simple “no” is good enough when asked if you’ve been drinking.
- Don’t become combative: Even if you’re not drunk, it gives the officer reason to believe you are. It also increases the likelihood of other criminal charges.
Even if you do these things, you could still find yourself under arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Keep calm, don’t incriminate yourself and pay attention to how the officer is treating you. Once you’re released, turn your attention to the facts in your case and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights. An experienced advocate can help.