No one should ever drive under the influence. It’s quite simple: people will die and lives will be ruined. But drivers still get behind the wheel of their two-ton hunks of potential destruction when their mental abilities have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. Media campaigns warning of the dangers aren’t enough so police departments across the country periodically conduct DWI checkpoints to catch drivers who have had too much to drink.
For states where they are legal, these checkpoints are announced ahead of time, often to coincide with a holiday weekend when more people may be out enjoying themselves with a few drinks. DWI checkpoints may seem unfair but they are perfectly legal. However, the police officers that are conducting these stops much follow procedures that are dictated by the law. This is why it’s important to know your rights and what you have to do when you come to a checkpoint or if you are stopped by a police officer.
In Texas, DWI checkpoints are not legal but many states allow them. If you’re in Texas and a police officer has reason to suspect that you may be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she can pull you over. Here’s what you should do if you’re pulled over for DWI:
You Must Stop
Speeding along after you see those flashing lights like you’re in a Fast and the Furious movie will only result in more chares than a DWI like evading the police, driving to endanger, and anything else they can legally charge you with for doing it.
You Don’t Have to Answer Questions
After you are pulled over, the officer will likely ask you where you’ve been, where you’re going, and if you’ve had anything to drink. The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to remain silent and not say anything that may incriminate yourself. Be polite, but it is well within your rights to decline to answer.
You Must Be Compliant
Not answering their questions does not mean you can ignore them. They will ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance and you must comply. You must follow their orders even if you don’t answer their questions. This means if they ask you to get out of the car, you have to do it.
If the officer suspects that you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to perform a field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse to do it. Field sobriety tests can be subjective and can be affected by things like poor coordination or the effects of legal medication.
While laws vary from state to state, the state of Texas has an implied consent law which means if you drive anywhere in the state, you consent to chemical testing (breathalyzer or blood test) for DWI. Refusing it is a misdemeanor with a 180 day license suspension for the first time and 2 years for incidents after that will include hefty fines and potentially other charges.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in Texas, someone is injured or dies in an alcohol-related vehicle accident every 20 minutes. It’s a sobering statistic. So, if you’ve had too much to drink or are under the influence of drugs, DON’T DRIVE. Call a friend or call a cab or spend the night where you are and keep yourself and anyone else on the road safe.
However, if you’ve been arrested for DWI in Texas, AAAA Discount Bail Bonds can help. We’re a full-service bail bonding agency serving southeast Texas as well as nationwide. We’re available 24/7 to help get you out of jail so you can get your life back on track. We now offer the convenience of e-bonds which allows you to do all of your paperwork from your mobile device. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI in Texas, call AAAA Discount Bail Bonds today at (936)539-4444.