What you do and don’t do after a DWI stop can affect the outcome of your case. Your actions or those of the police may enable your DWI defense attorney to obtain a dismissal of the charge or another positive outcome.
After You Are Stopped By The Police
If you have been drinking and are pulled over, keep the following in mind during your interaction with the police officer:
- Be respectful and cooperative — Hostility or rudeness will only invite increased scrutiny by the officer. Be polite and responsive to the officer’s questions.
- Remember that you are probably on camera — Many DWI stops in Missouri are recorded by squad car videos. This video can provide evidence that supports the officer’s decision to arrest you. Be mindful of this fact and behave appropriately.
- You have the right to remain silent — Provide the officer with your driver’s license and insurance card. But don’t answer any questions regarding your consumption of alcohol or admit that you have been at a bar. At this point, the officer is looking for information that will allow him or her to continue the investigation to find evidence against you. The less information you provide, the more difficult the officer’s task is.
- Field sobriety tests — In asking you to perform these tests, the officer is looking for evidence that you are impaired. Respectfully decline to perform field sobriety tests. If he or she presses you to perform these tests, restate your refusal in polite language.
- Do not submit to a portable breath test — The results from this hand-held device can provide probable cause for the police to arrest you. Refusing to take a portable breath test does not violate Missouri’s implied consent law.
- Get legal help as soon as possible — If you refuse to perform field sobriety tests or take a portable breath test, you may be transported to a police station and asked to take an official breath test. At that point, should you take the breath test? That is a complicated issue that depends on the specific circumstances of your case. You should obtain advice from an experienced DWI defense attorney.