A drunk driving arrest can happen to anybody. All it takes is a simple traffic mistake and an officer’s belief that you’re impaired (and, contrary to popular belief, you don’t even have to fail a Breathalyzer for the officer to proceed with an arrest).
If you had a drink or two at dinner, and you still got behind the wheel of your car because you were absolutely sure you weren’t over the legal limit to drive and weren’t impaired, you need to keep the following things in mind:
1. Promptly pull your car over
Don’t try to ignore the flashing lights of the police car behind you. Find a safe spot, pull over, turn off your engine and put your hands on the wheel. Don’t step out of the car or reach for anything (including your license and registration) until instructed by the officer.
2. Don’t try the “honest approach”
The officer may say something like, “Honesty goes a long way with me,” but that’s just a clever way of getting you to open up and admit to having a drink or two before you got on the road. Do not lie about anything — but also offer no information about what you were doing or how many drinks you had.
3. If necessary, invoke your rights
If the officer gets direct with his or her questions instead of just fishing around, you need to remember that you have the right to remain silent. Tell the officer, politely, that you’d prefer to focus on the traffic violation alone. If pressed, invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
4. Be on your best behavior
Remember: You are probably on camera. Don’t do or say anything that you don’t want to see on a video in court at a trial. Be calm, courteous (even if you have to be firm about your rights), respectful and obedient to the officer’s orders. If you disagree about something, comply anyhow and let your attorney fight the issue out later.
A conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be devastating to your personal and professional life. Contact our office to learn more about your options or explore our page further to learn about our approach to these kinds of situations.