Getting pulled over for a suspected DWI can be a nerve-wracking experience.
Learn about your rights and take appropriate steps to handle the situation.
Stay calm and composed
Police officers take potential drunk driving seriously due to the danger to others on the road. For example, 13,384 people died in motor vehicle accidents involving drunk drivers in 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Therefore, you should remain calm and understanding as you work with the officers.
Cooperate with the officer
When you see the flashing lights, pull over to a safe location promptly, turn off your engine and stay in the car. When the police approach your vehicle, follow their instructions politely. Avoid sudden movements, as these may raise suspicions. Provide your license, registration and proof of insurance when requested.
Mind your words
You have the right to remain silent, so exercise this right to prevent you from saying anything incriminating. Answer questions succinctly and avoid volunteering unnecessary information.
Consider field sobriety and breath tests
In some cases, an officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, and breath tests. While you have the right to refuse these tests, doing so may lead to consequences, such as license suspension. Consider the potential outcomes before making a decision.
Stay informed about local laws
Learn about local of the DWI laws. Knowledge of local regulations can empower you to make informed decisions during a stop.
Comply with testing if arrested
If you get arrested, comply with chemical testing at the police station. Refusing these tests may lead to more severe consequences, including longer license suspensions.
To put yourself in the best position, avoid drinking and driving and call a cab or designate a driver.