Houston Criminal Defense Blog

How to Survive a DWI Arrest

In the event that you have a contact with law enforcement, below are five basic rules to surviving a DWI or other police encounter.

1) You should never consent to any type of search for any reason. When the police ask you to consent to a search of your car, or of anything else, politely decline by saying “I do not consent”. If you consent and the officer locates open alcohol containers, prescriptions, or illicit drugs, they will often assume that you have recently consumed them and this will lead to a further DWI investigation.

2) Do not physically resist law enforcement. Resistance is illegal and usually results in someone being senselessly injured. The only time resistance is legal is when the police are using “excessive” force against you and you can respond with “reasonable force” to defend yourself. These terms are very vague and it is always better to be passive when dealing with law enforcement.

3) If you are suspected of committing a criminal offense, do not make any statements to the police or sign anything. This includes submitting to “field sobriety” evaluations, a hand-held alco-sensor, or any other tests. If you are asked any questions beyond your name, address, or date of birth, you should decline by saying “My attorney has advised me not to answer any questions” and then ask to speak to your lawyer.

4) If you have been consuming alcohol, try to avoid law enforcement contact if at all possible without further violating the law such as fleeing. If you are driving and an officer observes an odor of alcoholic beverage from your breath, you stand a good chance of being arrested for DWI. When you are unable to lawfully avoid police contact, try not the let the officer smell your breath and do your best to limit the length of the contact. Never argue with law enforcement about whether you have been drinking for any reason. This behavior will land you in jail each time.

5) Always be polite to law enforcement officers. If you are unruly or rude to them while they are on duty, you are on their turf and you will sure to be on the losing end of the encounter. Your attorney will evaluate the situation and if someone negative needs to be said about the officer, it can be done in the proper courtroom setting on our turf.

Adhering to these guidelines may not always prevent an arrest, but they can minimize the negative effects when the case comes to the trial phase and allow us to more properly do our job in defending your rights.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DWI