You’ve just had a few glasses of wine with dinner and then a small scotch with coffee after. Maybe it was a quick couple of cold beer after a workout with your friends. You might not feel over the limit, but the law may have other ideas.
Getting a DUI or DWI arrest can be devastating. It’s particularly troublesome if you need your driver’s license for your livelihood. Lossing your license can mean losing a lot more than the right to drive.
A DWI can cause a lot more problems than losing your license. You can lose our job, get a criminal record and cause heartache and problems within your family.
If you are pulled over and arrested for a DWI, there are some important things you need to know to keep yourself from being in more trouble than necessary.
DUI vs DWI Arrest in Texas
These terms can mean different things, depending on your location and state laws.
Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated seem to be the same thing, but there are slight differences.
The difference lies in the ‘I’. Influence or intoxicated. This makes the DWI a worse offense.
DUI arrest can mean drugs, alcohol or other unknown substances. In Texas, a DUI is given to minors who are caught driving under the influence and falls under the Traffic Code.
A DWI arrest is a penal code violation and issued to anyone driving at the legal limit of 0.08 or higher. This is a more serious offense.
Your DWI Arrest Check List
1. Don’t be a hero: Even if you suspect you are over the legal limit for driving, pull over when you are being stopped. Find a safe place to pull over, roll down the window and get your license and insurance papers ready. Do NOT take off thinking you can outrun the police. You will be in much more trouble.
2. Don’t be rude or obnoxious: Shouting at the officer or being rude and belligerent will not do you any favors. This is also not a good tie to try out a few jokes, the police did not pull you over for a laugh.
3. Don’t have children in the car with you: Driving the car with young children not only makes you look bad but can result in having the children taken into protective custody and/or additional charges against you.
4. Don’t lie: if they ask you if you have been drinking, answer them truthfully that you have, but don’t tell the exact amount you have consumed. If they ask if you have a weapon or firearm in the vehicle, tell them right away if you do. Don’t try to hide or conceal or lie about these issues.
If they assume you have a gun, and you tell them you don’t, they can search the vehicle, which can lead to a lot more problems for you. Tell the officer where it is, keep your hands in plain sight and do NOT make any sudden movements, or try to grab your weapon.
5. Don’t Do Sobriety tests: You may find alternative information on this topic, and ultimately it is your right to refuse. If you have not had any alcohol, then you may want to go ahead, but you do not have to.
The breathalyzer test and the other Field Sobriety Tests, FST, don’t need to be conducted and you are free to refuse them. Once you refuse the FST, a few different things can happen.
If they think you are not under the influence of anything, they may actually let you go. More likely, though, you will be put under DWI arrest and taken into the station. You will be given a sobriety test there and the chance to call a DWI arrest lawyer.
You do not want to do or say anything that will incriminate yourself or give them anything that can be used against you. The time between being pulled over and the time you are given a blood test at the police station can make a difference in the results and the case.
This is up to you, of course. If you think you will pass or feel you will be arrested anyhow and that complying with the officers are the checkpoint will be better for you, then take the breathalyzer. But you do not have to.
6. Don’t engage with the officers: Everything that is done and said is recorded, so it’s important that you comply with what is needed but no extras. Don’t mention prescription medications, don’t talk about where you were or where you are going, don’t include any extra filler information that can be turned around and used against you.
This needs to begin from the point you are pulled over and continue to the police car if you are under DWI arrest and taken into custody. Don’t engage in any chat or banter with the arresting officers.
7. Don’t wait to call a lawyer: Don’t wait until things are worse for you and do not hire a lawyer based on cost. You are charged with DWI arrest, you want a lawyer that knows these laws and who has experience and knowledge with these situations.
A DWI arrest can have long-lasting and harsh circumstances in your life and the lives of your family. You need someone who will fight for you and who knows where the pockets and loopholes are.
The best solution is to never drive under the influence, but sometimes we are caught off guard. We may not feel intoxicated, but the results can tell us a different story.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of DWI arrest, you need to find legal help before doing anything else. Don’t think you can handle the case on your own.
A good DWI lawyer will know exactly what to do to get you the best care. The burden is on the state, so don’t make it easy for them to arrest you and change you.
Get the best legal help you can.