Tis the Season…to get pulled over.
During the 2015 holiday season, 58 percent of highway deaths were alcohol related and there were 1,200 people killed and 25,000 injured from DWI accidents. DWI arrests jump every holiday season too. There is an overall 22 percent jump in DWI violations, with a staggering 106 percent jump on New Year’s Eve alone. Don’t sign up for your worst nightmare by drinking and driving. When you are out feeling jolly and celebrating the season, be sure to take an Uber home and to not drink and drive. The safest thing for you to do is to create a zero tolerance policy of drinking and driving for yourself. If you weigh the possible consequences over the price of a taxi or an Uber, you know you should take the Uber. In this week’s blog, we’ll go over some finer points of what happens when you get pulled over, what you should do, and what you should do if you get charged with a criminal offense.
Get Home Safe!
In the last few years, there have been numerous, highly publicized cases of police misconduct, some of which have been sparks to powder kegs, and every police stop has the potential to go wrong, so it is very important that you conduct yourself in the best way so you get home safe. It’s a pity that it is a fact that things can go wrong despite your best efforts, but you still have to give it your best effort and control your behavior, your words, and your tone. Understanding that, next to domestic violence calls, the most dangerous duty for a police officer is pulling a car over, can help you understand the position an officer is in.
Whether you have had no drinks, or admittedly have had a few, there are some basic rules for behavior to follow if you get pulled over by a law enforcement officer.
Eleven Rules to Getting Home Safe
- Be polite and respectful.
- Inform the officer if you are in possession of a weapon.
- Turn on the interior light of your car, and turn off your radio.
- Do not argue with the police.
- Remember that everything you do and say can and will be used against you in court; this includes anything you say or do before you are arrested and read your rights.
- Keep your hands in plain sight. Place your hands on the steering wheel.
- Do not make any sudden movements; tell the office what you are doing.
- Do not open the door of your car or get out unless the officer tells you to.
- Do not resist arrest.
- If you are arrested, do not say anything until you have legal representation.
- Stay calm, remain silent, and be aware of your body language.
Know Your Rights
- You can be pulled over for any infraction, no matter how small.
- It is important to know that you do not have to give consent to an officer to search your car. A law enforcement officer has to ask to search your car, and you are allowed to say no. You do not need to give a reason. If they believe they have probable cause or if they obtain a search warrant, they may legally search your car against your will.
- You have the right to record your interaction with the police.
- You have the right to remain silent, except to give basic identification information.
- You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, although this means you will be required to take a blood test.
What to Do if You Get Arrested for DUI
- First, make sure you get out of jail and home safely. Call a bail bondsman if need be.
- Call a DWI lawyer. Giles & Giles serves the area around Waco.
- Return to the scene of the arrest, and take any photos you deem relevant to your case.
- Write out everything you can remember about the traffic stop and the arrest. Include all the details you can think of, even if you don’t see how they could help your case. The more information your lawyer has to go on, the better.
If you get arrested for a DWI in the Waco area, and you need a DWI lawyer, call Giles & Giles for an experienced criminal defense.