Getting pulled over by the police is an unsettling event, especially if you have consumed alcohol. Whether you had too much or not, the prospect of what is to come may prove stressful and scary.
When the police pull you over, pay close attention to their questions and requests. Understanding your rights during any police interaction is crucial, but it becomes even more so when there is the possibility of a DWI. Learn what may happen at a DWI stop and the rights you should maintain.
What caused the officer to initiate the stop?
Police officers cannot pull you over without probable cause. Intoxicated driving is typically not something the police can use as a reason to justify the stop. Instead, they need to see you commit a traffic crime or believe you are leaving the scene of a greater crime. Once pulled over, they may begin a DWI investigation by observing your behavior and using their senses to detect the signs of intoxication.
Do you need to comply with testing requests?
A breath test is the most common DWI test the police use, and the results may determine how police handle the rest of the stop. While you did not have to submit to a breath test, you may lose your license for the refusal. However, if you believe you may fail the breath test, you may not want to agree to it. The officer may also ask that you perform roadside sobriety tests. These are not mandatory, and you can refuse since they are not an accurate measure of your intoxication.
A DWI stop and subsequent conviction may result in consequences to your present and future plans. Maintaining some basic knowledge of how things may go can help you assert your rights.