What To Do If Pulled Over For DWI In Texas
In February, a top Texas firefighter was pulled over for drunk driving. The firefighter, Trevor Joseph Stokes, was spotted by police driving erratically on Texas 183A. He was allegedly swerving in and out of lanes. It was then discovered that he was drunk driving and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Upon being pulled over, an officer approached his vehicle’s window and instantly noticed an overwhelming odor of alcohol and saw that Stokes’ eyes were glassy and bloodshot. The officer asked Stokes how many alcoholic drinks he consumed prior to driving. Stokes answered two. Yet, a receipt in Stokes’ car listed a total of 14 alcoholic drinks purchased that night. With his charges, Stokes could be fined $2,000 and receive a sentence of 180 days of in jail for his Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”) charge. In addition, he could serve up to a year in jail and face a fine of up to $4,000 for his gun charge.
A DWI is a serious charge here in Texas. Penalties for DWI include heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, mandatory community service, and mandatory jail time. If you have been charged with DWI, it is critical that you are aware of the possible penalties you may face, aggravating circumstances that could increase those penalties, and how hiring the right attorney to defend you against your DWI charge can help.
What to Do if Pulled Over
If pulled over for suspicion of driving while under the influence in Texas, you should be knowledgeable of the following tips. First of all, you should be careful with how you pull over. Do not pull over too fast or erratically and make sure you pull over in a safe location. Remember, if you pull over dangerously or park in a dangerous location the officer may write this in his report. As the officer exits his vehicle and approaches yours, be sure to keep your hands on the steering wheel in the 10:00 and 2:00 position. Cops are trained to monitor sudden movements and you do not want to trigger an officer’s defense.
Please remember that not only do officers have dashboard cameras, but many carry microphones on their uniforms. If you are hostile with the police, or uncooperative, or if you are visibly intoxicated, this will not look good for your case if the video or audio recording is later presented to the court. Texas does not require you to blow into a roadside Breathalyzer. They are unreliable. Texas law requires you give your name to the officer and provide your license and registration upon the officer’s request. Yet, if the officer asks questions such as “how many beers/liquor drinks have you had,” you should say, “I invoke my Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.” Do not say anything else. Texas law does not require you to answer these possibly incriminating questions.
Texas does not require you to partake in field sobriety tests. You should politely refuse all tests. If the officer obtains probable cause for your arrest, do not then provide a blood or breath test. Doing so may only produce incriminating evidence against you. Again, kindly refuse these tests, too.
Take Action and Hire an Attorney for Your Case
There are several powerful defenses to a DWI charge in Texas. If you have been charged with a DWI anywhere in Texas, regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced DWI attorney. At the Wheeler Law office, we are available 24/7. We offer a FREE consultation, with flat fee pricing and payment plans to fit every budget. Call us today at (940)-465-3178. Serving Denton, Collin, Dallas, Tarrant and surrounding counties.