What to say and not say when police pull you over for DWI

With school underway, so is partying with your fellow college students. While this may be a normal part of college life, it can also be a source of legal trouble if you are not careful. A common way partying can land you in hot water is by driving while intoxicated.

Unfortunately, it does not take much for your blood alcohol level to rise. Numerous factors play a role in the rate your body metabolizes alcohol, such as your sex, size, health, speed of consumption and food intake. So even if you think it is safe to get behind the wheel, it may not be, and you can find yourself face to face with a Texas police officer on the side of the road. What you say and do not say is influential in the outcome of your case, so review these tips to avoid making the situation worse.

What not to say

The police may act friendly, but they are not your friends; they are looking for words and other evidence that can implicate you. Although you should always be cooperative and respectful, you do not have to answer every question they ask, such as the following:

  • Have you been drinking?
  • How many drinks have you had?
  • Where are you driving from/to?

You can politely decline to respond and invoke your right to speak with legal counsel first. Do not lie.

What to say

You do have to answer some questions and follow some instructions. Remaining completely silent can arouse suspicion or lead to misunderstanding, and refusing to cooperate will only bring more charges against you. You need to show your ID, registration and other requested documentation.

You also have the choice to answer any other question you want to. Just know that whatever you say, the officer can use it against you later. Not all questions are blatantly incriminating, so be careful what you answer and how. When in doubt, it may be best not to reply.

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