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What are your rights during a DWI stop?

A DWI is a charge that may have a far-reaching ripple effect. A significant factor the police use to build a case against you is your behavior at the time of the stop.

Law enforcement has a legal process to follow, or the case may not proceed very far. A basic understanding of your rights during a DWI stop may increase your chances of mounting a better defense. Learn more about how to assert your constitutional rights during a stressful and high-stakes traffic stop.

What should you do when the police pull you over?

The police cannot pull you over unless they witness you commit a crime or have information that leads them to believe you have. The police should identify the reason for the stop while making initial contact. During these few moments, the officer watches you and examines the contents of your vehicle. These observations may provide the reasonable suspicion required to start a DWI investigation.

Can you decline the breath test?

Once the officers decide to pursue a DWI investigation against you, they may request that you partake in testing. One type of test involves a breath machine to analyze the amount of alcohol in your system. You have the right to refuse a breath test, but under the implied consent law, you may lose your license for a year. The suspension happens whether you face a DWI charge or not. However, the test results may do more to harm your record than a suspension.

Your behavior often dictates that of the police. Keeping a level head in a time of stress is not easy, but it may make all the difference in whether you face charges or not.



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