What to do when stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated
- Find a safe place to pull over
As soon as a cop decides to pull you over on the suspicion of drunk driving (DWI / DUI), he starts making observations that he will put in his offense report. The offense report can have a significant impact on the outcome of both your criminal case and your ALR driver’s license hearing. One of the first things the cop does is make a mental note of how you pulled your vehicle over. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the cop will note it in his report.
- Do not make any sudden movements
Cops are trained to be cautious and to protect themselves. Cops almost always approach a car from behind so they have a clear view and so the driver would have to turn completely around in order to shoot or attack them. Do not make any sudden movements and keep your hands on the wheel at 10:00 and 2:00.
- Be polite to the cop
When a cop pulls you over, you will likely be recorded on video. Most police cars these days have dash-mounted video cameras and officer-mounted microphones. Know that everything you do and say will likely be on video, and that the video will make or break your case. If you are rude or hostile, the officer is likely do everything possible to get you convicted, including write an incriminating officer report. Know that you are on camera, and that a jury will likely one day view your arrest video. How do you want to look to a jury?
- Do not answer any potential incriminating questions and do not lie.
Upon being pulled over on the suspicion for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), you are required to give an officer your name, driver’s license, and proof of insurance. That is all. When cop asks you if you have been drinking, kindly say, “I invoke my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination.” Do the same when the cop asks you where you were coming from, where you are going, and if you are intoxicated.
- REFUSE ALL FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS.
In Texas you are not required to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are not reliable indicators of intoxication. Most people cannot do field sobriety tests proper, even when sober. Kindly, knowing you are on camera, refuse all field sobriety tests.
- Refuse blowing in a hand-held breathalyzer that the officer has on the scene.
In Texas you are not required to blow in a hand-held breathalyzer. Roadside breathalyzers are notoriously unreliable and there are countless ways to skew their results. Do not provide a roadside breath sample.
- If arrested, refuse blood and breath tests.
Do not provide any breath or blood samples. In Texas, you are not required to provide a breath or blood sample. Do not provide one. You will only provide extra evidence to the state, and that evidence will be used against you. Kindly tell the officer, knowing you are on camera, that you respectfully refuse to provide a blood or breath sample.
- Once released, write down everything that you can remember about the night you were arrested.
The more notes you take about your arrest, the easier it will be for me to fight your case.Include the following in your notes:
- What you were doing and where were you before you drove?
- How much did you have to drink?
- How much did you tell the cop you had to drink?
- Did you ingest, intentionally or not, any drugs?
- How long was it after you drank or did drugs that you were arrested?
- How did the officer behave?
- What did you tell the officer?
- What did the officer tell you?
- How many police cars were on the scene?
- Where were you when you were pulled over?
- Where and when, if at all, were you read your Miranda rights?
- If you provided a breath or blood sample, how long had it been since you had a drink?
- Visit our DWI page and read about your rights, find out what the law is, and read about the penalties that you could face.
- Contact the Galveston, Texas DWI / DUI attorneys at Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC