What to Do if Stopped for DWI
When encountering a situation involving Driving While Impaired (DWI), it's essential to be informed and make the right decisions. When stopped by the police under suspicion of DWI, you may be asked to undergo two types of tests at the scene: field sobriety tests and a roadside breath test.
Field sobriety tests encompass tasks such as walking in a straight line, balancing on one foot, or tracking a pen or light with your eyes. Meanwhile, the portable breath test involves exhaling into a device that measures your breath's alcohol content.
Key Steps to Take When Stopped for DWI:
1. Avoid Answering Questions About Your Drinking
It's vital not to answer questions related to your alcohol consumption when questioned by the police. For instance, questions about how impaired you feel on a scale of 1 to 10 are often used, but they are designed to elicit self-incriminating responses. You are not obliged to answer these questions, and it is in your best interest not to do so.
2. Decline the Field Sobriety Tests
You are not legally obligated to participate in these tests. Our advice is to politely refuse, unless you are entirely sober and have not consumed any alcoholic beverages in the past 24 hours. People who have consumed even a small amount of alcohol can struggle to pass these tests. By refusing, you make it more challenging for the police officer to justify your arrest to a judge. Remember, you have the right to say "No" to these tests.
3. Consider Legal Representation
When facing a DWI charge, it is highly recommended to have a skilled and experienced DWI lawyer on your side. Whether you hire me to represent you or choose another attorney, or if financial constraints require the appointment of a public defender, having legal representation is crucial. Attempting to handle a DWI case without professional legal assistance can lead to costly mistakes.