As an attorney, I get asked all the time what someone should do to get out of a DWI. I want you to know that the best way to get out of a DWI is to not drink and drive. If you plan on drinking arrange for a cab or use an Uber instead of getting behind the wheel. That being said, if for some reason you find yourself stopped by police under the suspicion of DWI, follow these simple procedures that will protect your rights and minimize the fallout:
- Gather your own evidence. First, turn your cell phone camera on for audio and/or video. Stick it in your pocket if you need both hands so you at least have audio. If you can’t do it yourself, have a passenger in the car record for you. It’s better to have an actual account of what has transpired. When you’re in court it is better to have at least an audio account of what happened otherwise it’s your word against the arresting officer’s. In situations like these, there are mistakes that officers can make that inadvertently help your case.
- Be polite. Our police force has a difficult job to do and the overwhelming majority of officers do their job with the utmost integrity. There is no reason to be defensive and disrespectful. Allow the officer to do his job and follow their instructions. This could benefit your case if and when it’s brought in front of a judge.
- Know your rights. Like I mentioned before, police officers have a difficult job to do. However you, as a citizen, have certain rights that no police officer can infringe upon.
- You can ask questions.
- You can ask “Why did you pull me over?”
- You can ask “Why would you want to search my vehicle?”
- You can ask the officer to demonstrate all tests.
- You can ask the officer what it will take to pass the test.
- You don’t have to consent to anything you don’t want to. If you are asked if it is okay to search your vehicle you can say “no” or better yet you can ask “why do you want to search my vehicle?”
- You can call your attorney. You do have a limited right to counsel. If you ask for a specific lawyer they have to let you call them. Say, “I need to call my attorney, Tucker Stanclift.” In that case, they have to let you make that call. It’s very important to note here that you must name the specific attorney. If you only say, “I need to call a lawyer,” that is not specific enough and your request may be denied.
In conclusion, do not drink and drive. However, if you are stopped by an officer and are over the legal limit, remember these tips to help your case. It’s normal to feel at fault for the incident, but remember your rights and we can work together on every legal avenue we have.