Imagine a situation in which you’re pulled over by a police officer for suspicion of DWI. Your heart is pounding, your mind is racing and your palms are sweating. And that’s all before you ever come face to face with the law.

It’s critical that you take steps to protect your legal rights during the stop. Here are some of the most common mistakes (all of which you need to avoid):

  • Admitting to consuming alcohol: There is never a good reason to tell the officer you’ve been drinking. Even if you have, don’t share this with the officer. For example, telling them you only had one or two drinks a couple hours ago won’t help your cause. It simply backs up their suspicion that you’re under the influence.
  • Answering questions: You’re under no legal obligation to answer questions directed to you by the officer. How much did you drink? Where are you coming from? Do you know the penalties for driving while intoxicated? These are all questions the officer may ask in an attempt to better understand your circumstances.
  • Showing disrespect: As your level of frustration and stress rises, it’s difficult to keep your emotions in check. Subsequently, you may begin to show signs of disrespect, such as talking back to the officer or explaining your legal rights. Do your best to bite your tongue, as speaking out of turn only gives the officer more reason to continue with the stop.
  • Resisting arrest: You hope it never comes to this, but the officer may tell you that you’re under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Without thinking, you may fight back. But if you do this, it will only complicate your arrest, while also having the potential to result in additional charges.

These are the types of mistakes that you want to avoid at a DWI stop. Doing so will put you in better position to avoid an arrest and the consequences associated with it.

If you are arrested for DWI, remain quiet and follow directions. You’ll have time in the future to formulate a defense strategy for protecting your legal rights.