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What to do if you’ve been drinking and get pulled over

Updated: Aug 20, 2018

drinking and driving

1. Find a safe place to pull over

As soon as a law enforcement officer decides to pull you over on the suspicion of drunk driving, he starts making observations that will be included in his offense report. The offense report can have a significant impact on the outcome of your criminal case and your Administrative Licesnse Revocation (ALR) driver's license hearing. One of the first things the officer does is make a mental note of how you pulled your vehicle over. If you drive erratically, slow down too abruptly, or pull over in an unsafe location, the cop will note it in his report.

2. Do not make any sudden movements

Law enforcement officers are trained to protect themselves. When the officer approaches, do not make any sudden movements and keep your hands on the wheel at the 10 and 2 position.

3. Be polite to the law enforcement officer

When a cop pulls you over, you will probably be recorded on video. Most patrol vehicles have dash-mounted video cameras and officer-mounted microphones. Know that everything you do and say will likely be on video. Keep in mind that a jury will likely view your arrest video. How do you want to look to a jury?

4. Do not answer any potential incriminating questions and do not lie.

Upon being pulled over on the suspicion for driving while intoxicated (DWI) you are only required to give an officer your name, driver's license, and proof of insurance. When cop asks you if you have been drinking, politely say, "I invoke my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination." Do the same when the cop asks you where you were coming from, where you are going, and if you are intoxicated.


In Texas, you are NOT required to perform field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests are not reliable indicators of intoxication. Politely, while being aware that you are being videotaped, refuse all field sobriety tests.

6. Refuse blowing in a hand-held breathalyzer that the officer has on the scene.

In Texas, you are NOT required to blow in a hand-held breathalyzer. Roadside breathalyzers are notoriously unreliable and there are countless ways to skew their results. Refuse to provide a roadside breath sample.

7. If arrested, all refuse blood and breath tests.

Do not provide any breath or blood samples. You are NOT required to provide a breath or blood sample. It only provides extra evidence to the state that will be used against you. Respectfully refuse to provide a blood or breath sample.

8. Once released, write down everything that you can remember about the night you were arrested. The more notes you take about your arrest, the easier it will be for a Lawyer to defend your case.

Include the following in your notes:

What you were doing before you drove?

How much did you have to drink?

How much did you tell the cop you had to drink?

Did you ingest, intentionally or not, any drugs?

How long was it after you drank or did drugs that you were arrested?

What did you tell the officer?

What did the officer tell you?

Where were you when you were pulled over?

When, if at all, were you read your Miranda rights?

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