Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season has officially begun. People will decorate their homes, buy presents for their loved ones, and attend Christmas parties. However, in Dallas County this also means that there will be increased Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Enforcement. If you find yourself in a situation where you are pulled over for a DWI, what should you do?
The first thing you should do is pull over when you see flashing lights behind you. Your first instinct may be to exit the highway and pull into a parking lot, but you should stop as soon as you see a safe place to pull over. Once you come to a stop, turn off your engine, turn on your dome lights, roll down your window, and put your hands on your steering wheel.
The officer will ask you for your driver’s license and insurance next. Get these to the officer as soon as you can. Be polite to the officer but to the point. You are not required to speak to the officer other than to identify yourself. Answer questions truthfully with brief answers. The officer will not give you a break if you apologize and admit to drinking. By saying as little as necessary you are exercising your constitutional rights.
If you are asked to exit your vehicle, make sure you comply as soon as possible. Do not lean against your car or walk around. The officer’s dash cam is recording the whole encounter and you do not want to give the impression that you are impaired. At this point the officer may ask you to perform sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse all of the sobriety tests. Keep in ming that, your license may be suspended for the refusal, but if you take the tests and the result is over .08 BAC, your license is suspended anyway.
If you are arrested at this point, you will be taken to the police station to give either a breath or blood sample to determine your blood alcohol content. The results of these tests will be the primary evidence against you in court. You have the right to refuse these tests as well. Throughout the holiday season drivers can expect No Refusal Weekends. If you refuse to provide a sample during a No Refusal Weekend, the police apply for a warrant to draw your blood. Judges will be on call 24/7 to sign search warrants for the blood draw. Some cities have No Refusal policies in place at all times.
The best thing you can do is to prevent this situation from happening in the first place. Please use a designated driver, taxi, or Uber if you have had one drink too many. Getting arrested for a DWI is very costly, even if your charges are later dismissed or you are found not guilty at trial.
The Law Office of Mili Patel represents clients who have been charged DWI and other misdemeanor offenses. If you have been charged with a DWI, please call us today at 972-332-3484.