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DWI woes: When you live with a DWI on your record

If you’ve had a DWI conviction in the past, you may wonder if you’re on the police’s radar. For the most part, no. Once you handle the sentence you were given, then you won’t be monitored more carefully than others.

However, you should remember that police officers can look up license plates, so if they see that you’re driving recklessly or dangerously, they might look for a DWI history in your record. If they find one, it may be more likely for them to give you a Breathalyzer test or to ask you to complete roadside sobriety tests, even if you’re totally sober.

Can the police trail you hoping to catch you while intoxicated?

No, the police can’t track you in the hope of catching you again. However, if they see you at a bar and watch you walk drunkenly to your vehicle, they may stop you if they see you make a driving error. For instance, if you back out and hit a pole or pull out into the road in front of another vehicle, you could end up being stopped for a traffic violation.

However, that being said, an officer who consistently harasses an individual or persists in following them while trying to “catch them in the act,” could be breaking the law. At the very least, it’s unethical.

How does a past DWI make you look when defending against a second DWI?

It depends. While it’s certainly better not to have a DWI on your record, having one doesn’t necessarily make you look worse to the judge or court. A DWI that happened when you were 20 is unlikely to play much of a role if you’re now 50. However, if you recently had a DWI conviction and were stopped again for drunk driving a few months after that, then that could be problematic.

Regardless of the circumstances, you deserve the opportunity to defend yourself. Having a past DWI shouldn’t mean that you’re treated any differently when this case is investigated. If you’re concerned about being mistreated, then your attorney can take an active role in defending you.

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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