Things You May Wish You’d Known Before Getting Stopped for DWI
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Things You May Wish You’d Known Before Getting Stopped for DWI

On Behalf of | May 27, 2020 | DWI

Police officer administering a breathalyzer to a driver during a traffic stop.

With services like Uber, Lyft, and of course, taxi cabs available in a few clicks on your smartphone, it’s hard to imagine how you could possibly wind up in the situation of getting stopped for drunk driving; that is, until you do.  After all, who hasn’t had a few too many drinks at one time or another, and made a poor judgement call while under the influence?  Here are a few key insights straight from a DWI attorney that you’ll be grateful to have read should you ever find yourself in this uncomfortable and compromising position.

If you have been pulled over for driving while impaired, or a DWI, you should know that you do have rights. Let’s take a closer look at what these rights are and what you should do during a DWI arrest.

In the event that you are stopped for a DWI, you should pull your vehicle over to the side of the road in an area that is appropriate to stop. Next, provide the police officer with your license and vehicle registration information. If the officer asks you to exit the vehicle to get away from the road and/or traffic, you should cooperate with them.

You must understand that you are not obligated to perform any pre-exit tests such as touching your finger to your nose, stating the alphabet, or counting backwards once you have been stopped. Also, you should refrain from consenting to anything and avoid answering any questions, blowing into any devices, or performing any field sobriety tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests were designed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration or NHTSA to gather evidence of a DWI crime. These field sobriety tests include:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test or HGN is an eye test where a police officer pulls out a penlight and moves it in front of the suspect’s eyes and asks them to look at the light as it moves.
  • The Walk and Turn Test which is commonly referred to as the heel to toe test requires the suspect to take nine heel to toe steps along a straight line. After these steps have been taken, the suspect is ordered to turn on one foot and return in the same exact way in the opposite direction.
  • The One Leg Stand Test where police officers instruct the suspect to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground with their toe pointed.

The HGN, Walk and turn, and One Leg Stand Tests, as well as the portable breath test and other non-standardized tests that a police officer may offer should be refused. In addition to refusing to take these standardized and non-standardized tests, you should not give consent to a search of your car, house, or anything else. If a police officer does conduct a search without your consent, do not try to stop them. Simply continue to make it obvious that you are not giving consent.

By following this advice, you can increase your chances of obtaining a successful result on your DWI charges. If you have been arrested for a DWI or have any questions about your rights during an arrest, contact the Vavonese Law Firm at 919-833-7454 today.