If you've only had a couple of drinks during a night out, your blood alcohol content level may be within the legal limit of 0.08. Maybe you had nothing to drink at all before getting behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, when the police are out in full force looking for drunk drivers, that won't prevent them from pulling you over.
If you're driving late at night or on a holiday weekend, you may encounter a DWI checkpoint. Police may stop you if you exhibit any signs of impairment, however, at any time.
It could be a failure to stay in your lane or come to a complete stop at a stop sign. In other cases, police may stop you for a broken taillight and use that as a pretense to attempt to nab you for DWI.
It's important not to take any of this personally and understand that police are not responsible for convicting DWI suspects. They only employ tactics to gather evidence that can be used against you in court.
That's why there is no harm in cooperating with law enforcement when you are stopped. In fact, cooperating can help prevent an unfortunate situation from escalating into something more severe.
What will happen when stopped and suspected of DWI
Once you are stopped, rolling your window down and keeping your hands on the steering wheel may place an officer at ease. If an officer asks for your license and registration, you must provide it. Anything beyond that, it's crucial that you consider how your actions may impact the outcome of the situation.
It's standard for police to ask questions when pulling someone over. They may ask where you are going, coming from, or how much you've had to drink, if they are suspicious of drunk driving. Be aware, however, that anything you tell an officer can lead to further questioning. If you're arrested, your word can be used against you in court.
If an officer suspects that you are drunk, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test or take a breath test. A field sobriety test isn't always the most effective method for determining impairment. Your performance could be impacted by fatigue, anxiety, a mental or cognitive disorder, a physical disability, or your height and weight.
A breath test, on the other hand, may provide police with more solid evidence that you were driving drunk. You may refuse to take a breath test, but due to Texas's implied consent law, you can be arrested and have your license suspended for 180 days (more if it's your second offense). Even if you take the breath test and fail, the evidence may still be disputed. Breath test results aren't always 100 percent accurate, as the devices used by police are sometimes defective.
Why compliance may save you in the courtroom
Even if you're well-aware that you didn't break any laws, it's still important to stay calm and cooperate with police. In many cases, people who are stopped will argue with police or resist arrest. This can lead to charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest — both of which can be difficult to fight in court.
If you are being placed under arrest, it's best to remain silent and take your fight to the courtroom. Having an experienced DWI lawyer on your side can save you a heap of legal troubles during the process.
Attorney Amanda Webb proudly represents those charged with DWI throughout the State of Texas and can devise an effective legal strategy. Don't take a chance with your freedom. Contact Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer today and schedule your free case evaluation.