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How to Handle a DWI Stop in Texas

What enables Texas law officers to pull you over for a suspected DWI? With reasonable suspicion, they can briefly detain you based on what they hear or observe in the time before they pull you over. If they think you may have committed or are about to commit a crime, they have probable cause. Watching you drive erratically, like driving into the curb, over the center lane, and weaving are some telltale behaviors of a drunk person, so they can suspect you based on that.

If there is an accident or if they stop you for speeding, they may also see alcohol in the car or smell it. Some examples of actual traffic cases and how reasonable suspicion applies to a case can be found here.


Steps to Take if You’re Pulled Over

Remember that the officer has no idea if you are a fugitive, violent criminal, or simply nervous. Projecting calm cooperation will help speed your stop and prevent the situation from escalating.

  1. Pull over to the side of the road as soon as it’s safe. Make sure to use your blinker and pull off to the right if possible. Stay calm and in control. The officer will be watching your every move.
  2. Roll down your window. Doing this will save the officer a step because he or she will tell you to do this anyway.
  3. Turn off your car. If it’s dark out, turning on your interior light is a good move to show you’ve nothing to hide.
  4. Wait for the officer with your hands placed on the steering wheel. Don’t get out of the vehicle. Any sudden moves can mean trouble. Even adjusting how you sit can make the officer suspect that you’re up to no good.
  5. Give the officer anything he or she asks for. License, registration, insurance info, and anything else that’s reasonable.
  6. Be very polite and respectful talking with the law enforcement officer. Even if you think the stop is out of line, don’t say so. You can fight later in court.
  7. Answer as simply and directly as possible. However, if you’re asked how much you drank, try not to give a concrete number, which could be used against you later.

Submit to a sobriety test if you choose to. For the alternative, see below.


What Happens If I Don’t Take the Breathalyzer Test?

Per Texas law, if you say no to a breathalyzer, you can face an immediate 180-day suspension.


Choose an Experienced DWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated, you don’t want to roll the dice with your future. If convicted of a DWI, you can lose your license, pay fines for years to come, and even go to jail. How you deal with your charge can affect your future.

Brian Tillman & Rhett Braniff are criminal defense attorneys who know the best way to approach each case based on their years of experience. Their testimonials speak to their level of service. Working with Tillman Braniff, PLLC means that you have the best chance to see your charges reduced or dropped. Call today for a free, confidential consultation at 512 236-0505 for help in Austin and 512-473-8745 for help in Williamson County. You can also complete the contact form below and we’ll contact you at your convenience.

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