Knowledge and preparedness are your best allies when attempting to avoid arrest at a DWI stop. DWI stops are encounters between law enforcement and drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated.
In New York, these stops are serious business; one wrong move can lead to an arrest and a criminal record. Consider the following key actions during a DWI stop to help avoid such a predicament.
Stay calm and compliant
When the flashing lights and blaring sirens appear in your rearview mirror, it’s essential to remain calm. Pull over safely, roll down your window and keep your hands visible. Police officers are trained to be cautious during traffic stops, and sudden or aggressive movements may raise suspicion. Remember, you don’t have to answer questions that may incriminate you. Politely inform the officer that you choose to remain silent. This does not imply guilt; it’s an exercise of your legal rights.
Perform sobriety tests carefully
Field sobriety tests are often part of a DWI stop. These can include the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus tests. While you’re not obligated to take these tests, refusing might lead to license suspension. If you decide to take them, do so carefully and follow the officer’s instructions. Remember, your performance may be used as evidence. Suppose you’re arrested on suspicion of DWI; you’ll likely be asked to take a breathalyzer or blood test.
You can choose to take or refuse a breathalyzer test. Refusing the test may result in administrative penalties, including the suspension of your driver’s license, if you refuse after you’re arrested. In some cases, officers may request a blood or urine test. You can also choose to take or refuse these tests. However, refusal may have legal consequences if you refuse once you’ve been arrested. This is because New York has an implied consent law; this is to say that by obtaining a driver’s license, you have already consented to a post-arrest chemical test if an officer suspects you of driving while intoxicated.
Encounters with law enforcement officers during a DWI stop can be nerve-wracking, but if you play your cards right, you can potentially avoid getting arrested. However, should you get arrested, don’t hesitate to exercise your right to obtain legal representation. A professional can help to mitigate possible penalties and work to protect your driver’s license.