With all the warnings about drinking and driving that appear on television, radio programs and billboards, and the frequent news items about traffic accidents resulting in personal injury or death, you would think that drunk driving might be on the wane. Many people are not aware how little alcohol it takes to exceed the legal standard BAC of.08 percent, and being stopped for a DWI can be an extremely stressful experience. If you are pulled over, however, there are a few things you can do to make the best of the situation.
Keep sight of the facts
The statistics are sobering. According to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), someone is injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes in our country – and did you know that approximately one-third of the drunk drivers are repeat offenders? You do not want to become a member of this group. With that thought in mind, you could simply choose not to drink before you get behind the wheel. However, this means that you abstain at wedding receptions and parties, you drink soda rather than beer at the ballgame and you never have wine with dinner at your favorite restaurant. Remember that an average-sized person only needs three or four drinks to reach a blood alcohol level of.08 percent.
Reasons for a traffic stop
Law enforcement officers can pull you over for a traffic violation, such as rolling through a stop sign or going through a red light. They might also see a defect in your vehicle’s safety equipment, such as a brake light that is out. You will likely be stopped if they see that you are weaving, tailgating or making a similar maneuver that might indicate you are driving while intoxicated.
How to respond
If you are being stopped by law enforcement, find a safe place to pull over on the right side of the roadway. Presumably you have your registration and insurance card in a place, like your glove, box where you can readily find and present them. Be polite but refrain from being chatty. Naturally you will be nervous, but you do not have to tell the officer that you have been drinking or recount your recent activities in detail. Remember that any admission you make can be used against you.
If there has been no accident, and therefore no injuries or worse involved, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You could still be arrested, however, depending on the circumstances and the officer’s judgment as to whether you were impaired due to alcohol. If what seemed like a simple DWI turns into a more complicated situation, keep in mind that you can rely on experienced attorneys to help you through it.