How To Deal With A DWI Stop

Being pulled over by the police on suspicion of drunk driving can be frustrating to deal with. However, it's important to handle the situation in an orderly and thoughtful manner. Let's look at how to respond when you've been pulled over for a potential DWI:

Pull Over in a Safe Spot

When you see police lights go on, try to find a spot alongside the road that will be safe for both you and the cop. If this means taking an extra minute to find a parking lot or a wide shoulder on the road, it's better to have to explain to the officer why you took an extra minute than it is to make the situation unsafe.

Keep Your Answers Simple and Short

Whatever precipitated the stop will be used to build a ladder that stretches toward conducting a field sobriety test. This means the officer who speaks with you will ask you questions that point toward what's known as reasonable suspicion, the standard for detaining you for more than a couple minutes. You'll be asked questions like, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" Don't speculate about the answer because it can be used against you. Just tell them you don't know and ask them for an explanation.

It's normal for them to ask questions about whether you've been recently drinking. This is usually the first time you have some sense that it's a DWI stop and not a standard traffic stop. Tell the truth, but don't go overboard in explaining things. If you had a couple of drinks three hours ago, your blood-alcohol content level should be legal by the time you are stopped.

Don't Negotiate with the Police

Alongside the road isn't the place to begin a DWI defense. Comply with the commands you're given. If you have a medical condition and accompanying documentation, ask the officer if you can get it rather than just reaching for it. Don't provide a long explanation; instead, tell them whatever it is you need to tell them and wait for them to ask follow-up questions.

If Charged, Assert Your Rights

Once it's clear you're going to be charged, assert your right to stop answering the officer's questions. The police can detain you, but you have the right to get in contact with a DWI attorney. Assert your right to a lawyer as soon as you are brought into the police station for booking.

For more information about a DWI defense, contact an attorney in your area.