Been drinking and are stopped by the police? Here is what to do when stopped for a DWI

I am a experienced DWI attorney serving clients in Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, Collin & Dallas Counties.  I am often asked what to do when stopped for a DWI.

Unfortunately, if you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence there is no easy answer as to what you should do or how you should act. Most of the time even if you are not technically DWI, if there is an odor of alcohol on your breath you are likely to be arrested and taken to jail. In the end, don’t panic and provide as little evidence as possible.

Some factors to consider are jurisdiction of arrest, law enforcement agency of arrest, and number of drinks. The basic rule of thumb in a DWI case is that a DWI with a State administered breath or blood test is harder to win at trial than a case without a test. Compared to sobriety evaluations, a State-administered, despite it’s own inconsistencies, is considered more reliable proof of driving under the influence.

Field Evaluations: Generally, there is no benefit to taking field evaluations like the One Leg Stand, Nine Step Walk and Turn, Alphabet Recitation, Finger to Nose, Five Finger Dexterity Test etc. Although an inference can be taken from refusal to complete field evaluations, they are generally not favorable even for sober individuals. The very young and athletic are generally the only individuals who successfully perform field evaluations. There may be instances though, where agreeing to certain field evaluations may help your case, as refusing every procedure offered by police creates a strong inference a guilt via refusal.

Do Not Take the Eye Test commonly referred to as the HGN test. It rarely helps you.

Ask lots of Questions: If you are not slurring your speech, ask a lot of questions. Ask for an attorney, ask what happens if you do not take the field evaluations, ask what happens if you blow under the legal limit; ask, if you take a State-administered test, if you should take an independent or additional test of your blood, breath or urine. If you are not slurring your speech, keep asking questions. In many instances success in a DWI case depends on proving the police violated your rights through incorrect procedure or shaky knowledge of DWI statute.

Breath, Blood, or Urine Tests: There are reasons to take a State-administered test and reasons not to take a test. If you want to fight your DWI in court, it is generally better to not take any tests unless you have had little or no drugs or alcohol.

Speak in Short, Concise Sentences: Be clear and speak only when absolutely necessary. Remember, you are probably being both filmed and recorded during the entire process: stop, arrest, intake, and detention. Stay away from rambling diatribes or life stories. If you are pulled over and have alcohol on your breath you are probably going to jail regardless. The best course of action is to start preparing for trial from the very beginning: assume the worst, because the police are. From the moment you are pulled over for suspected DWI, the police are simply getting ready for trial.

Do Not Tell Police About Your Prescriptions: Prescription pills can equal a DWI. There is established precedent that doctor’s orders are not a viable defense against DWI

Call a DWI Lawyer ASAP: A DWI can be nerve-racking and we know that detainees sometimes do not have easy access to a phone until they’re released, but as soon as possible call a DWI lawyer if only for a basic free consultation. Beware of attorneys quoting unreasonably low fees. Low fees usually mean the attorney will be looking to push you to pleading guilty without any “proper” representation. A good way to judge if you’re dealing with a “plea lawyer” is to calculate their hourly charge. Less money equals less time, and although we understand that higher prices don’t necessarily correlate to better lawyers, lower prices usually correlate to shyster lawyers. We handle a large volume of DWIs and take advantage of economies of scale to offer top quality legal representation at a reasonable price. We think justice should be affordable and offer payment plans to those without access to capital but with a job and established credit.

I am a experienced DWI attorney serving clients in Rockwall, Kaufman, Hunt, Collin & Dallas Counties.  If you know what to do when stopped for a DWI, you are long way to a fair resolution.

If you have questions, concerns or been charged with a DWI, call me today. There is no charge for the initial consultation.

We protect Texans and their rights. One Texan at a time.  You can count on us!