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Roadside Tips

Helpful Tips for Person’s Suspect of DWI

  • 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.

ALR Hearings

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.

Vehicular Stops, In General

When you are being alerted that an officer wants you to stop your vehicle (siren or lights), pull over in a timely and safe manner. Remain in your vehicle. Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Know where your identification, vehicle registration and insurance is. Wait for the officer to approach.

When the officer asks you for identification, vehicle registration, and insurance, tell the officer where the items are located in the vehicle, ask him if you can retrieve the items, then get the items and hand them to the officer. Always be gracious and polite.

  • If the stop is going further than a traffic infraction and a ticket being issued, decline requests to search you or the vehicle.
  • If the officer asks, “Is there anything in here I need to know about,” the answer is NO. if you answer, “Not that I know of,” that is an invitation for the officer to keep asking questions.
  • If you know you have open warrants, still pull over. Running from the cops in a vehicle NEVER works out in your favor. It is better to be arrested for traffic tickets than to have to defend a Felony Evading charge.

If you do not have identification with you, give your correct name and correct date of birth to the officer. In this instance, lying NEVER pays off. Lying to cops about who you are will get you a Failure to Identify charge.