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What to not do during a DWI stop

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2023 | blog, DWI |

Being stopped by the police can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if they suspect you of driving while impaired. DWI offenses carry significant penalties, including fines, loss of driving privileges and even jail time.

Remember that you have rights during a traffic stop and that your actions can influence the outcome of the stop. Understanding what you should not do during a DWI stop can help you protect your rights and potentially avoid legal troubles.

Do not be disrespectful

Police officers have a difficult job, and it is important to treat them with respect, even if you believe they are wrong. You should remain calm, speak politely and avoid confrontational behavior. Acting out or being disrespectful can escalate the situation and potentially lead to additional charges.

Avoid admitting guilt

When talking to the police, it is important to choose your words carefully. Do not admit to drinking or impairment. The court can use any admission as evidence against you. You have the right to remain silent and should use it if necessary.

Do not consent to a search without a warrant

Police officers cannot search your vehicle without your consent or a warrant unless they have probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime in your car. If an officer asks to search your vehicle, you can politely decline.

Avoid failing to follow lawful orders

While you should not consent to a search without a warrant, you should also avoid disobeying lawful orders from a police officer. If an officer asks you to step out of your vehicle or hands you a citation, you should comply.

Do not forget your right to refuse tests

In North Carolina, you have the right to refuse roadside sobriety tests and preliminary breath testing. These tests often serve as evidence in DWI cases. However, refusing a test can result in an immediate 30-day driver’s license revocation and a 12-month revocation if the refusal is upheld in court.

Your actions during a DWI stop can have far-reaching implications, so making the right choices can make all the difference.