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Encountering a police officer is never a fun prospect. Many people do not understand they have certain obligations and certain rights when they speak with an officer. For this particular topic, we are going to focus strictly on what to do when pulled over on suspicion of DWI. For a more general understanding of what you have to say and do with a police officer, please go here.

1. Be polite.

Be aware that a camera and microphone are probably recording. Anything you say will be used later against you. Juries tend to think drunk people are angry and rude. If you are angry and rude to the officer, the prosecutor will try to argue you acted that way because you were impaired even if you were sober.

2. Provide your license and insurance.

At this point, these are the ONLY questions you must answer. Do not discuss where you were or how much you had to drink. Refusing to identify yourself during a traffic stop is a crime. So is driving without insurance or a license.

3. Keep your hands visible and still.

This lets the officer know you are not a threat. It also prevents them from inventing a reason to search your vehicle. Sudden movements with your hands can justify a more intrusive police encounter under the law.

4. Kindly ask if you are free to leave.

If the police officer will not say “YES” then politely advise her that are not going to answer any more questions or perform any tests. Tell them you want to remain silent.

5. Do not consent to any search of your vehicle or person if asked.

In some circumstances, the police may search you and your car without your permission. Don’t panic. Do not get angry but politely remind them you do not consent to the search.

6. Do not agree to perform the roadside field sobriety tests.

Politely decline. These tests were designed to make you fail. Sober people have and will fail these tests. It’s a trap!

7. If you are lucky to only receive a citation SIGN IT!

You may be arrested for refusing to sign the ticket.

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