Swerving and speeding can look like driving while intoxicated (DWI). In Missouri, a DWI conviction is a criminal and administrative offense. However, a conviction is different from an arrest. A police officer pulls you over due to suspicion, meaning the officer has yet to obtain any significant evidence that they can use to convict you. Here are tips you can follow if an officer pulls you over for DWI.
Pull over immediately and conscientiously
When a police officer asks you to pull over, you should abide at once. Obey the necessary traffic rules, use your signal and remain calm as you come to a complete stop. The police officer will be watching your every move.
Speak to the officer with respect and courtesy
The arresting officer will talk to you and look for signs of intoxication. You should respond politely. By doing so, you may be able to win them over and avoid going to the police station altogether. Proper communication can turn an arrest into an amicable misunderstanding. Resisting arrest and behaving adversely toward the officer can worsen your situation. Police brutality and misconduct are more common than you would expect.
Make use of the Fifth Amendment
Provide only direct and succinct information. Stick with yes or no responses whenever possible, but never admit to drinking. You have the right to remain silent, meaning you do not need to volunteer information that may incriminate you.
Choose carefully whether you will refuse or submit to the tests
The police officer cannot force you to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, but it might be better to comply. Their procedures are highly contestable because of inaccuracy and inconsistency. Field sobriety tests can be challenging even for someone not under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. Refusal to take the alcohol or drug test may lead to a revocation of your driving privileges. Although, you can also challenge the license suspension.
If a police officer pulls you over and arrests you for drunk driving, you have the right to fight against these charges and avoid conviction. By following these tips, you will be in a better position to build your defense.