Everyone has felt the sudden spike of fear when they see the flashing red and blue lights in their rearview mirrors. There’s a certain anxiety to getting pulled over by a police officer, but most of those interactions tend to be simple and quick. However, everything changes when you’ve had a few drinks at dinner or with friends and you see those lights in your rearview. Suddenly, frantic worry fills your head, typically followed by the infamous “DUI” acronym. The reality of being arrested for those few drinks you had suddenly becomes very possible. What should you do? The following tips can help you know what to do if you get pulled over for a DUI in Texas.
Don’t Drink and Drive
The easiest and 100% guaranteed way to avoid a DUI conviction is to avoid driving after you’ve been drinking. The intent of this blog post is to inform you of the Constitutional rights you are entitled to when you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, not to condone drunk driving in any way, shape or form. Drunk driving is a serious offense, and ultimately it’s better for you and others to avoid it altogether. Call an Uber or hitch a ride home with a designated driver. It will save you the time, money and stress of a DUI conviction. And it could save lives, both yours and those of the people around you.
Stay Silent and Polite
One of the first questions the officer will ask you after pulling you over is if you know why they pulled you over in the first place. You may or may not know the reason, but it’s important to remember that you don’t have to answer. Every word you say and action you take from here on out can result in a guilty conviction, so take care in what you say and how you say it. Politely tell the officer that you have nothing to say. Asking something as simple as where you’re coming from can lead to the inevitable assumption that you’ve been drinking. The officer can then use your answer, and the way you say it, to indicate on their report that they think you’ve been drinking. The same goes for the way you act. If you’re upset and display that anger, it’s a simple enough assumption that you’re drunk and at that point, you’re just helping their case against you. Stay as silent as you can and always act politely.
Don’t Take the Field Sobriety Tests
Contrary to popular belief, you are not required by law to take field sobriety tests. In fact, these tests aren’t designed to be pass or fail; they are designed so the officer can identify clues that may indicate impairment. If the officer has already made up their mind that you’re drunk, they’ll find those clues even if you perform well on these tests.
Note that while field sobriety tests are not required, if you are arrested, you will be required to take a breathalyzer test at the police station. This is required by law, and if you refuse, you could receive refusal charges.
Get an Attorney
If you get arrested for a DUI in Texas, it’s of utmost important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you procrastinate finding an attorney, you may forget critical details that are important for your defense. An attorney experienced with DUI cases can help you avoid a DUI conviction and save you from the pain and stress that comes with it.