6 Things to Do if You’re Arrested for a DWI


While the message “don’t drink and drive” has been driven into the minds of motorists through marketing campaigns for decades, the reality is that driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges are still common. 

Of course, not everyone charged is convicted. But you’ll want to know what to do if you’re ever arrested and charged with DWI. Whether you’re innocent (hopefully) or guilty (hopefully not), there are some things you should never do. 

Consider these six things if stopped by the police on suspicion of DWI. Go against these suggestions at your own peril.

  1. Don’t Be Disrespectful

If you’re ever pulled over by the police over suspicion of DWI, one of the worst things you can do is be disrespectful. Nothing good will come from being downright rude. 

The police body cams will capture your bad behavior, and the chances are that you’ll end up in handcuffs sitting in the backseat of a police cruiser. It’ll be a sobering ride back to the police station. Be respectful to authority and comply within reason — being rude can lead to an arrest.

  1. Don’t Be a Blabbermouth

Being respectful to the police doesn’t mean you have to be a blabbermouth and give a dissertation in response to every question the police ask. In fact, the less you say without a lawyer by your side, the better. Try to limit your answers to “yes” or “no.” 

It’s the job of the police to ask whatever questions they need to gather evidence — and their findings can be used against you. It’s within your right to refuse a breathalyzer or to take field sobriety tests, but you may be arrested if you’re suspected of being impaired. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can.

  1. Don’t Flee the Scene

Fleeing the scene is a no-no. If the police signal for you to pull over to the side of the road, don’t floor the gas pedal to make a getaway. You’ll make what might have been a simple situation into a more complex situation with serious legal ramifications. 

No one wants to be pulled over — especially if they’ve been drinking and fear they’ll be charged. But making a run for it will worsen things. It makes no sense to make the situation even worse. 

  1. Don’t Offer the Officers a Bribe

If you really are under the influence, you might not be thinking straight. One thing you must never do is try to bribe a police officer. In addition to being charged with a DWI offense, you might also be charged with an attempted bribery offense. People who are intoxicated sometimes do things that are out of character. You don’t want to be charged with a bribery attempt.

  1. Don’t Be Aggressive

Don’t make sudden movements that the police can misinterpret. If you’re told to keep your hands up or to remain still, don’t fish around in your car or push your hands into your pockets. The police might think you’re hiding something or retrieving a weapon. Follow instructions, and avoid doing anything that might give the wrong impression.

  1. Don’t Make the Mistake of Not Hiring a Lawyer

Whether or not you believe you’re impaired, it’s essential to lawyer up. Some people mistakenly believe that asking for a lawyer is an admission of guilt. The reality is that it’s a mistake to engage in too much dialogue with the police without legal representation. 

What you say can and will be used against you. And you might be surprised at how even a seemingly innocent comment can land you in hot legal water. Exercise your right to remain silent and let the police know you want to hire a lawyer before answering any questions.

Avoid these six mistakes if you’re ever stopped by police on suspicion of DWI. It’s not a situation anyone wants to experience. Knowing what not to do will help. The most vital thing is to request a lawyer if you’re arrested. That’ll increase your odds of getting a favorable outcome.


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