You’re driving down the road after having a few beers and you see blue lights in your rear-view mirror. It’s a nightmare that quite a few people have to live each day. Most people know that getting pulled for DUI will prompt a frantic phone call to the best lawyer they can afford. What most don’t know is there are steps they should take before calling their lawyer. If you can follow these steps, you’ll make your DWI lawyer’s job much easier.
Pullover safely and quickly, but not too quick.
When you see those lights in your rear-view mirror, the officer has already started recording your driving and making observations to that effect. Everything you do will become evidence in the case against you. Your manner of pulling over will impact the officer’s perception of your sobriety. You should pull over at the first safe place. Pulling over abruptly and in an unsafe area could be seen as a sign of your intoxication. Going too long without pulling over could lead the officer to conclude you’re trying to evade. It’s important that you choose the proper place to pull over.
Be polite to the officer, even if he doesn’t deserve it.
Some officers will be rude and difficult to deal with. You must be as polite as possible even in the face of this. The most obvious benefit to being polite to the officer is that he might not arrest you. More than that, his report will reflect your attitude. Later, if he testifies against you, he’ll be more apt to go after you if you weren’t polite. While being polite might not get you out of an arrest, there’s nothing to be gained from any other approach.
Don’t talk too much.
Even while you’re attempting to be polite, make sure you aren’t giving away the case with your mouth. Nervous people tend to talk too much. When you talk, you give away facts that can be used against you at a later date in court. Respectfully decline any questions asked by the officer. You can let him know that your lawyer advised against talking in these situations. Recent Supreme Court precedent indicates that you’ll need to explicitly invoke your Fifth Amendment right if you want the officer to stop questioning you.
Refuse all manner of tests.
The officer may ask you to take a breath test. These are notoriously inaccurate, and even if you pass, he could still arrest you. You should also refuse to consent to a blood test. The officer may be able to go get a warrant for your blood, and you should make him do so. Your delay will, at the very least, give the alcohol a chance to leave your system. Aside from that, if the officer makes any mistakes in the warrant or in the process of drawing the blood, your lawyer can challenge that. You should in no circumstance participate in a field sobriety test. Though they seem fair, they are designed like carnival games, with lots of places for you to fail. Any failure will be raised as evidence in your criminal proceeding.
Take notes as soon as you can.
When you’re finally released, takes notes about the experience. Where were you going? Where had you been? Who had you been with? How many drinks did you have? Are there receipts to show you only had two beers? What did the officer say to you and did he read you your rights? Any notes you can remember will help your lawyer investigate the case. Before you make a call to a great DWI attorney, record these notes. They’ll help down the road.
Getting pulled over for DWI is never pleasant. It can prompt fear and lead to mistakes. If you’re smart, however, you can make your lawyer’s job easier. Following these steps will give your lawyer the best chance at getting a positive outcome in your case.