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What do I say to cops at a DWI stop?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Drunk Driving

Getting pulled over for DWI makes almost anyone nervous. Even if you have not been drinking, knowing the cops believe that you are intoxicated might make you extremely anxious. If you did have a couple of drinks, you might panic and make statements you should not.

While you might know about your right to refuse field sobriety tests, do not forget about your right to remain silent. Your statements can and will likely be used against you.

Give the cops your name and provide identification if they ask, but other than that, say nothing. This is going to be difficult because it is normal to feel like you must answer a police officer’s questions.

Do not give the cops evidence

Any statements you make can give an officer reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated. Even stuttering or slurring your words out of nervousness when making a neutral statement, such as stating you were coming from the grocery store, could provide reasonable suspicion.

You will likely be asked if you have been drinking. Never answer “yes.” Sometimes people will answer “two beers” or “just a couple,” believing that the cops will appreciate their honesty. This is a bad idea.

Since you already admitted to consuming some alcohol, it gives the police officers an opening to continue questioning you. Your admission to drinking is the best evidence the cop has to continue a DWI investigation.

Just say no when questioned about drinking. Be polite and firm. Keep it your goal to get through the process as quickly as possible.

What should I say if I am detained?

If the police officer does have a reasonable basis to believe you are driving while impaired, they then legally have permission to detain you to conduct a DWI investigation.

Do not panic. Continue to stay calm and say nothing. You must comply with a request to get out of your vehicle, but beyond that, do not make any statements. If you are arrested and read Miranda rights, continue to exercise your right to remain silent and ask for an attorney.