Police officers are well trained at spotting individuals who are under the influence of alcohol, as it allows them to keep dangerous drivers off the road. If you’re pulled over for suspicion of DWI, the steps you take will go a long way in determining what happens next.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Pull to safety as quickly as possible: Once you’re sure the officer is after you, put on your hazard lights, slow down and move to the side of the road or a parking lot.
- Maintain a high level of politeness: There’s no benefit of being rude or disrespectful to the officer, even if you’re 100 percent sober. Keep calm, remain polite and do whatever you can to move through the conversation in an efficient manner.
- Don’t say too much: Think long and hard before you answer a question or share too much information with the officer. The 5th Amendment provides the right to remain silent, as opposed to incriminating yourself.
- Don’t concoct a story: Telling the officer you only had one drink six hours ago won’t do you any good. Even if it’s true, they won’t believe it. You’re best off sticking with the facts, as most officers have heard every story in the book.
- Keep your cool if you’re put under arrest: You may not see it coming, but if the officer puts you under arrest you should remain quiet and follow procedure. Fighting back, verbally and/or in a physical manner, increases the risk of additional criminal charges, such as resisting arrest.
A DUI arrest is every bit as scary as it sounds, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you have legal rights in North Carolina. During your arrest, make note of what’s happening to you and if the officer is violating the law in any way. And when you’re released from jail, begin to collect documentation to back up your claims.
Don’t fall prey to the belief that a DWI charge will always result in a conviction. By taking the right steps after your arrest and implementing the proper defense strategy, you can prevent a conviction and the many consequences associated with it.