If you choose to drink any alcohol or take drugs, including prescription drugs, and get behind the wheel of the car, there is a chance you can be stopped and arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), also referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The best way to not get stopped is obvious…do not become intoxicated and get behind the wheel. If you do choose to drink and drive, limit your alcohol intake, and do not give the police an obvious reason to pull you over.
Reason for an Officer to Pull You Over
Officers with probable cause will pull you over for safety violations such as lights that are not working on your vehicle, not using turn signals, not stopping completely at stop signs or red lights, weaving in and out of traffic and so on. Maintaining your car and following the laws on the road can reduce your chances of being stopped by the police.
What to Do if You Get Stopped by the Police
If you have been drinking alcohol and get stopped, pull over right away in a safe place. Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel. Be very courteous, but only answer the officer’s questions. Do not add or admit to anything. Show him or her your driver’s license and proof of insurance when asked. Never admit to drinking any alcohol even if you are questioned about it, because it will be used against you. Just respond by saying that you don’t have anything to say.
Field Sobriety and Breath Tests
Step out of your vehicle if you are asked to do so. If the officer wants you to perform a field sobriety test, such as walking a straight line, or touching your fingers to your nose, respectfully decline. Texas has an implied consent law, so if you are asked to take a breath test, and you refuse, the officer will take your driver’s license and give you a temporary permit good for 41 days. At this point you have 15 days to request a hearing so you can challenge your driver’s license suspension. If you fail to request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing (ALR) or if you lose the hearing due to failure to prove that the officer did not have reasonable belief that you were driving drunk, your license will be suspended for 180 days for a first refusal.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are suspected of being intoxicated, and there is serious bodily injury or a fatality, you have no choice but to take the breath test. You will also be forced to take the test if you have had two prior DWI convictions or one prior conviction and there is a child in the car when you are pulled over. Other times that the breath test is mandatory is when the no-refusal weekends or holidays are in effect.
Contact Us If You Are Arrested for DWI
If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car or a watercraft, you put yourself and others at risk. Texas DWI laws are very strict and the DWI penalties can be harsh. A driving while intoxicated charge in Texas is very expensive, and can have a profound impact on your life. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you need an experienced DWI defense attorney who will defend your rights. Charles Thompson is a Houston DWI lawyer who has defended drivers charged with this offense and he will fight your DWI charge. Contact our office right away if you are looking for a top Houston DWI lawyer.