When you are pulled over for a traffic stop on suspicion of DWI, you have many rights that the police officer who stopped your vehicle doesn’t necessarily want you to have knowledge or understanding of.
Here’s what the police don’t want you to know if you’ve been stopped for drinking and driving.
You Don’t Have to Answer the Officer’s Questions
Beyond providing your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance to the police, you do not need to answer any other questions. The officer will likely ask you where you were coming from, where you’re going, and whether or not you’ve had anything to drink. You do not need to answer these questions and will not face a penalty if you don’t.
If You Do Talk to Police, It Will Likely Hurt Your Case
If you do choose to answer police questions, it will most likely damage your case. Even if you think you are not saying anything incriminating, anything you do say can be twisted or manipulated to make it seem like you said something you didn’t. Your best bet is to remain silent and simply hand the officer the required documents to prove your identity, vehicle ownership, and motor vehicle insurance status.
You Can Refuse a Breathalyzer Test
Although there are automatic penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test, such as the immediate suspension of your driver’s license, this is an available option.
You have the right to decide if you’d rather have an immediate license suspension instead of taking a breathalyzer, however, an officer can still arrest you for a DWI even if you didn’t take a breath test. That said, lack of breath test data may result in the prosecution not having enough evidence to convict you.
You Don’t Have to Take a Field Sobriety Test
You can also decline to submit to a field sobriety test and there are no penalties for doing so. The officer may attempt to intimidate you and suggest there are legal consequences for not submitting to the test, but this is incorrect.
You Do Not Have to Get Out of Your Car Unless You Are Under Arrest
If you are not actively being arrested by the police officer who stopped you, you’re not required to exit your vehicle and may choose not to.
You Can Call a Lawyer
You have the right to contact an attorney right away if you are arrested for drinking and driving. You do not need to wait to be charged or to make bail to call a lawyer.
Contact Segura and Kiatta today for more information or to book your case consultation by calling 281.570.6400.