Maybe you know why you were pulled over. Perhaps you have no clue as to what an officer wants to talk to you about. Either way, there are things you can do during a traffic stop to protect yourself and your legal rights. And that’s particularly true if the officer believes you’re under the influence of alcohol.
Furthermore, there are just as many things that you shouldn’t do during a DWI traffic stop. Here’s a list:
- Don’t get out of your vehicle: If the officer wants you to get out, they’ll let you know. Stay where you are and keep your hands on the steering wheel until the officer arrives at your window. They’ll then tell you what to do.
- Don’t start talking: The moment the officer arrives at your window is the moment you get the urge to talk. You want to ask what you did wrong. You want to ask why you’re in trouble. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Let them talk first, all while keeping quiet. If you start babbling, you could easily say something that makes it look like you violated a law.
- Don’t admit to anything: Not only does this give the officer reason to put you under arrest, but it will also work against you when defending yourself in court. Even if you know that you’re under the influence of alcohol, admitting it won’t do you any good. The officer won’t give you “extra credit” for telling them the truth. It simply makes it easier for them to arrest you.
- Don’t resist arrest: Should it come to this, don’t resist. Listen to what the officer is saying, take note of what they’re doing and follow along with their requests. Resisting will cause more harm than good, such as additional criminal charges.
These are the types of things you should never do during a DWI traffic stop. If you avoid these, your chance of driving away with nothing more than a warning is much greater.
In the event that you’re put under arrest and dealing with formal DWI criminal charges, you need a defense strategy to protect your legal rights.