DWI Tips for the Roadside
- If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI):
- Always be gracious and polite with law enforcement. You are usually being videotaped.
- If the officer does not tell you why he pulled you over, calmly ask why.
- If the officer tells you to get out of the vehicle, calmly comply.
- If the officer begins with “look at the tip of my pen/finger,” ask what he is doing.
- When the officer explains that he needs to “check if you’re okay to drive,” decline the tests.
Remember, an officer is allowed to ask you general questions; i.e, where are you coming from where are you going to, etc. Make your answers short, to the point, yes or no.
- If the officer tells you, “blow into this,” (PBT – personal breath test), decline.
- If the officer encourages you to perform the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), decline.
At this point, it is the officer’s decision to arrest you or not for DWI. You have not given him much to base his decision. That is a good thing. It is highly unlikely that performing the tests (SFSTs) or blowing into the PBT would have helped you. It is better to have a short video with you being compliant, polite and looking sober than a long version with you being argumentative, belligerent, and not being able to perform the tests to the officer’s satisfaction.
IN THE PATROL VEHICLE YOU ARE BEING VIDEOTAPED.
At The Police Station or County Jail
- Always be gracious and polite. You are probably being videotaped here also.
- If you are asked to perform the SFSTs, decline.
- If you are asked to answer questions, ask to speak to a lawyer before answering any questions.
- If you are asked to blow into the Intoxilyzer, decline.
IT IS YOUR RIGHT AS A CITIZEN TO REFUSE/DECLINE TO PERFORM ANY TESTS, TO PROVIDE A BREATH SAMPLE OR ANSWER QUESTIONS ON A DWI FIRST OR SECOND.
The law is that you must provide a breath or blood sample if it is:
- 1) a 3rd DWI,
- 2) a DWI with passenger under 15 years old,
- 3) or an accident involving death or serious bodily injury that may lead to death.
No Refusal Weekends
It is this lawyer’s opinion that No Refusal Weekends are unconstitutional. However, if you do not comply with the “warrant” for your blood that is presented, you may be injured or worse as the cops perform a “forced blood draw” on you. Better to let them draw the blood without physical incident and fight the case in court.
Texas Drivers License Suspension
You have 15 days from the day of your arrest to request an ALR (Administrative License Revocation Hearing) from the DPS (Department of Public Safety). The officer will tell you that your license to drive is “automatically” suspended for failing or refusing the breath test, but that is not necessarily true. If a lawyer is able to prevail at the ALR hearing, DPS will not suspend your license.