If you’re arrested for driving while intoxicated, there’s certain information that you must provide to law enforcement officers. However, many people misunderstand exactly what they have to disclose and what is voluntary information that may be used against them. Here’s what you need to know about your rights after a DWI arrest and what to do next.
If you are stopped by a police officer in any state in the U.S. and are asked for your identification, you must provide it. You do not have to be suspected of committing a crime, however, most law enforcement officers aren’t spending their time doing random identification checks on the sidewalk.
However, this does mean that you cannot decline to provide your identifying information or withhold it in any way, which generally includes your name, birth date, and address.
As standard in any motor vehicle stop, whether for suspected drunk driving or another infraction, you must provide police with proof of insurance and registration. However, if you do not have these, you are generally only issued a ticket, which may be dismissed if you are able to show proof that you did have insurance coverage and your car was registered on the date you were stopped.
Under implied consent laws, which are signed and agreed to when you get your driver’s license, you must submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if requested. While you can technically decline to do so, you will receive an automatic license suspension.
Typically, it is your best interest to abide by implied consent and submit to a blood, urine, or breath test as requested. You may be able to request a certain type of test — e.g. a blood test so split testing can be done and your attorney can send one blood sample to an independent lab of your choice.
The above two categories of information are all that you are legally required to provide when you are arrested. You do not have to provide any other information, although law enforcement officers will often use intimidation tactics to make you believe you legally have to answer their questions.
You can, and generally should withhold information from law enforcement officers about:
Don’t wait to reach out to an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney if you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Anthony R. Segura has extensive experience working with individuals charged with DWI and other crimes and works hard to clear their names. Call today for a consultation at 281.240.3941.