Texas DWI Defense Attorney Offers Tips for Handling Traffic Stops

While each DWI arrest is unique, most of them have one thing in common: they started out as traffic stops. Whether you were aware that there was something about your car or how you were driving that would have made you a likely target for a traffic stop or not, it is likely that you were at least somewhat surprised when you saw the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror.

Whenever anyone is stopped by the police, it is natural for them to wonder what will happen during the traffic stop. Some people like to think on the bright side, that perhaps the officer simply wanted to alert them to a burnt out tail light or give them a warning and ask them to slow down. Other people focus more on how much time the traffic stop could possibly take, especially if they are on the way to work or some other time-sensitive event. If you are in a hurry, it can seem like it takes the officer a very long time to go to their vehicle to check up on your license and registration. Some people fear the worst, perhaps even that they might be investigated for DWI.

Whatever it is that you are thinking about during a traffic stop, it is also a good idea to set those thoughts aside and focus on how you plan to handle the situation. There are actually things that you can do which could make the difference between it being an ordinary traffic stop and it turning into a lengthy investigation that could possibly end with your arrest.

The law enforcement officer that pulled you over was observing your vehicle before they stopped you. Now that you are pulled over, they have a chance to observe you and interact with you. Your interactions with them as well as their observations of you could play a large role in determining the eventual outcome of the traffic stop. For example, the officer may ask you where you are going. Please do not mistake this question for an attempt to initiate small talk. Every question that the officer asks is asked for a reason, and often that reason is to elicit information from you that they could use to support further investigation of your vehicle and your person. As hard as it may be to believe this, you are not actually under any obligation to tell the officer where you are going, or to answer any of their other questions, for that matter. You can maintain a calm and respectful demeanor while saying very little about anything of substance, and while providing your vehicle registration, driver’s license, proof of insurance, or other documents that are requested of you. Some officers do not like it when drivers don’t answer questions, and they try to intimidate drivers into saying more than they should. If this happens, remain calm and politely tell the officer that you wish to consult with your attorney.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.



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