Understanding Your Rights During A DWI Traffic Stop
One of the worst feelings is when you see those flashing police lights behind you while driving. Now you may not be a full blown criminal or a serial killer, like the felons seen on some of the grizzly gore videos posted on crime blogs such as US CRIME NEWS, yet somehow you still get nervous. Even the mere failure to use a turn signal, and you’re there feeling like you’re on America’s most wanted list.
Further, the stress of the situation multiplies when you have had something to drink. People make mistakes regularly but the DWI process can be nothing short of a nightmare to deal with. Calling someone to bail you out for DWI is the start of the stress as you likely will not be able to bail yourself out. The following are things you should know about your rights during a DWI traffic stop.
Only Answer Questions You Are Asked
Most people tend to get a bit chatty when they are intoxicated. Answer the officer politely but do not ramble on about where you were or where you are going. Being polite can get you quite a long way but it will not get you out of a DWI charge. Refusing to answer questions is your right but this likely will lead to your arrest. The last thing you want on bodycam footage is you slurring your words or saying something incredibly irrelevant.
You Can Refuse Testing
Refusal of testing is recommended if you just know you are impaired. This will likely lead to your arrest along with a driver’s license suspension. What police are not going to tell you is that most states have work-only licenses so an individual can continue earning a living. This will have to be applied for at the DMV and the right lawyer can help you. The suspension can also be overturned if the police officer doesn’t show up for the hearing regarding your license. Even if the officer does show up, this can be a great time for your attorney to ask them questions to lock in their testimony. Sobriety tests are a huge piece of evidence that police officers use to make arrests. Refusing to do these is important as it will be what the prosecution uses as evidence in your case.
Refusing a breathalyzer is a different story as there are some states that have officers take blood at the scene as they have been certified as phlebotomists. Not all states have this though and if you are involved in an accident that resulted in injuries, they will likely take your blood at the hospital. The breathalyzer is the biggest piece of evidence used as the tests are rarely inaccurate although this has happened leading to hundreds of cases being thrown out.
The right attorney is going to be able to help you out immensely. Look for a DWI lawyer Raleigh or Chapel Hill that can help you get through this stressful time. Having charges dismissed or getting charges dropped to reckless driving can make a difference. The attorney can even help negotiate the fines that you will have to pay which can be immense depending on the state that you live in. Make sure you pick an experienced lawyer that has done a multitude of impaired driving cases.