If you are a Missouri driver and police pull you over for suspected drunk driving, you should know a few basic things about what to expect and how to proceed. A police stop for driving while intoxicated, or DWI, is a serious matter, and you should not underestimate it.
Knowing how to behave during a traffic stop or a police stop for a suspected DWI is important, so that you do not make any mistakes that may put you in further legal jeopardy. In addition, you need to understand what police can and cannot do during a traffic stop so that you may be aware if police attempt to violate your rights. These three tips will give you a basic idea of what you need to know:
1. Avoid confrontational behavior
You should not be aggressive or confrontational with a police officer. Keep your hands on the steering wheel where the police officer can see them, and do not unbuckle your seatbelt or leave your vehicle at any time unless the officer instructs you to do so. Respond to requests respectfully, but remember that you have the right to remain silent, and therefore, you are not required to answer any questions that may result in incriminating responses. For example, you do not need to answer questions about whether you have been out drinking or how many drinks you have had.
2. Refuse tests
Police may ask you to take a field sobriety test or a portable breath test. The reason a police officer may ask you to perform one of these tests is that the officer is looking for probable cause to arrest you. Refusing a portable breath test does not go against Missouri’s implied consent law. If, after your refusal, police transport you to a police station to perform an official breath test, you should seek legal advice before consenting.
3. Assume you are being filmed
Nowadays, many Missouri police officers making DWI stops have dash cams that record their stops. This means you should be aware of the fact that a police car camera may be filming you during your encounter. If you do or say anything incriminating or that leads law enforcement to suspect you are drunk, the police car video will record it.
If police pull you over because they suspect you are driving while intoxicated, it is important that you follow these steps. Doing so can help you avoid certain consequences that could result if you were to act aggressively or submit to testing in the field.