4 Tips for How To Interact With Police During a DWI Stop

cop car with lights on at night on the side of the road

When you see bright police lights flashing behind you, your heart tends to start racing. Whether you were following the rules of the road or not, the experience of interacting with police officers can be anxiety-inducing. We’ve put together a list of some tips for how you should behave during a DWI stop in order to help yourself, and your potential defense, in the long run.

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1. Be Respectful and Calm

Though you likely aren’t in the happiest mood when getting stopped by the police, don’t show that. Instead, remain respectful toward the police officers. Starting your interaction with a hostile attitude could potentially escalate the situation.

It’s also important to remain calm. If your nerves are visible to the officers, they may believe there’s a suspicious reason for why you are so anxious. For example, that you have something illegal in the car and are panicking. Additionally, your physical symptoms of anxiety may be misinterpreted as signs of intoxication. Do your best to keep yourself calm and know that even if the stop results in you being arrested, that doesn’t mean you will be convicted.

2. Provide the Necessary Documentation

At the start of the stop, the police will most likely request your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Make sure you always travel with these in your wallet and/or glove compartment.

3. Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent

During a DWI stop, the officer may begin questioning you about whether or not you’ve been drinking, and if so, how much. Many people believe that they are required to answer these preliminary questions. However, you are not. You should calmly state that you are using your right to remain silent. This ensures you do not provide any information that can later be used against you.

4. Don’t Take Field Sobriety Tests

You may be asked to take a breathalyzer test or a series of field sobriety tests. While refusing the breathalyzer will result in license suspension, refusing field sobriety tests will not. There is truly no benefit to you for taking field sobriety tests, as even numerous sober people are unable to pass them. By taking a field sobriety test, it gives the police officer a chance to find evidence that you are intoxicated. Don’t provide this opportunity; do not consent to take field sobriety tests.

Austin DWI Defense Attorneys

If you were arrested and charged with DWI after a traffic stop, contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm at (512) 359-3743. Our team can create a personalized defense strategy using the details of your case and will do everything possible to get you a favorable outcome.