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Being pulled over can be stressful, especially if you’ve been drinking. Just because an officer makes a traffic stop does not necessarily mean that an arrest will ensue. If you follow these tips, your odds of facing DWI charges will be greatly reduced.
As soon as you are beckoned to pull over, do so calmly and safely. The officer may be recording you on a dash camera, and he will also make notes as to your behavior upon being stopped. If you swerve or act recklessly, this can be used to establish probable cause that you had been drinking.
Stop promptly and cooperate fully when asked to show your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance. Do not become belligerent or try to argue with an officer, as this can also arouse the suspicion that you are intoxicated. Stay inside your vehicle and do not make any sudden movements that would cause an officer to become suspicious or fear for his safety.
If an officer asks whether or not you have been drinking, you are under no obligation to answer this question. Should you be asked, your best bet is not to lie, but to instead invoke your right against self-incrimination. You should also not mention that you have just returned from a party or local nightclub, as this would also be incriminating evidence that might be used later.
If the officer believes you may have been drinking, you could be asked to submit to a field sobriety test. In most cases, it will be in your best interest to refuse these tests. The reason is that their results are extremely subjective, and these results may be used to justify an arrest if you do poorly. There are no repercussions for refusing a field sobriety test, which is why it is usually in your best interest to refuse them.
When it comes to taking a breathalyzer test, a refusal can result in your license being suspended automatically. If possible, avoid taking a breathalyzer test at the scene, as many of the portable machines used by law enforcement are terribly inaccurate. Upon arrival to the police station, you can normally choose between a breathalyzer test and blood draw, and you are more likely to be successful at challenging their results in court should you be arrested afterwards.
If you were arrested for drunk driving, help is available from Houston attorney Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900.