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What To Do If Pulled Over for DWI


As we have hit the first day of summer and the 4th of July is just around the corner, I thought it was good to post some knowledge of what one should do if pulled over for DWI.  There are also great checkpoint videos on youtube.  In Texas, sobriety checkpoints are illegal, but that doesn’t stop some law enforcement from thinking that a driver’s license checkpoint in an area filled with bars at 2am is not a de facto sobriety checkpoint.  On to the tips:

1. Pull Over Immediately

Of course, wait for a safe place to pull over, but don’t delay.  Some cops will think you must be intoxicated because it took you so long to pull over and question why you didn’t pull over three blocks back.  Other cops might try and slap you with an evading arrest charge, which would be a felony, in addition to a DWI.

2. Don’t Get Out of the Car Until The Officer Tells You

You may think this is unjust, but don’t jump out of your car and start pleading your case.  This is not the time.  I often have clients ask if they have to get out of the car.  If you don’t, they will pull you out and that won’t look good to a jury if we have to go there on a DWI case.

3. Be Nice

Nobody, not the police, not the prosecutor, and not a jury, will help someone who is a jerk.  You might need some favors in a DWI case.  Be someone that anyone would help.

4. Keep Quiet

Don’t try and talk your way out of it.  Again, this isn’t the time to plead your case.  And, honesty is not the best policy when it comes to a DWI.  You won’t be rewarded for telling the cop you had X number of beers.  There is a purpose to the questions being asked and the information the officers are trying to gather and that purpose is to convict you of DWI.  Do not say anything other than…

5. Respectfully Ask for an Attorney

You have the right to an attorney, and officers will most likely tell you that you aren’t yet under arrest.  But, they’ll also tell you that if you don’t answer the questions and do their tests that they will have to arrest you.  Spoiler alert: You’re getting arrested regardless.

6. You Can Refuse

You can refuse to do the DWI field sobriety tests and you can refuse to answer questions.  No one can make you do anything without a warrant or court order.

Stay safe and try not to be in this situation.