Thanksgiving is a time when people meet with their family and friends to celebrate their togetherness and relationships. These celebrations often include alcohol, and it is possible people can overindulge.
Additionally, some people participate a pre-Thanksgiving drinking party on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, known as “Blackout Wednesday.” The idea behind Blackout Wednesday is nobody has school or work the next day, so there is no excuse not to drink.
Police departments know there are more impaired drivers on the roadway during holidays, so they step up enforcement operations. This increases the chances people will be pulled over for a DWI.
The best way to avoid being investigated for a DWI is not to drink and drive, but sometimes an officer might pull you over because you did something that makes him think you might be impaired. Should you be pulled over, there are certain steps for you to take that will help your situation should you eventually get arrested.
The Consequences Are Serious
You may have heard people say a DWI arrest is no big deal, or you do not need an attorney because everybody gets the same penalties and fines. This could not be farther from the truth.
A DWI in Minnesota has serious consequences for people. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the arrest, a DWI arrest can mean jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges.
However, there are other repercussions from a DWI arrest. A conviction can also mean the loss of a job, not being considered for certain career opportunities, increased insurance costs, and the embarrassment of having to tell people you have been arrested and convicted of a crime.
If you are pulled over by the police and told they suspect you are driving under the influence, take the following steps to help your side of the case. If the police arrest you, seek expert legal counsel at once.
The officer is doing his or her job. The last thing you want to do is aggravate them with a bad or confrontational attitude. A polite demeanor will not get you released, but it will make the officer calmer and maybe even more sympathetic.
You Do Not Have To Answer Questions
You are not required to respond to the officer’s questions about where you are, what you have consumed, how much, and all the other questions asked in a DWI investigation. You have the right to remain silent, and you can use that right at any time.
Don’t Take The Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are the physical tests given to you on the roadside. They are meant to display your physical coordination to the officer. You are not required to participate and doing well on them does not help your case.
Also, people have physical ailments that can prevent them from performing well in the tests. For instance, bad knees and hips can prevent you from having good balance. Also, some people have a hard time maintaining their balance at night or during stressful situations.
Don’t Take The Preliminary Breath Test
Many officers carry a hand-held breath test machine called a Preliminary Breath Test. You blow into the device, and it gives a reading on the blood alcohol level in your system. You are not required to take the test. Moreover, if there is even the slightest chance alcohol in your blood system, you should not take the test. It only confirms there was alcohol in your system. It does not indicate you were impaired.
If You Are Arrested
If arrested and taken to the police station, cooperate with all instructions from the officers. You are required to submit to a breath test. Don’t refuse to take the test at this point because it could mean a one-year revocation of your license.
During this time, don’t answer any questions and don’t make any statements about the validity of the arrest. Be quiet, do as you are told, and wait to be released. Once you are released, immediately find a criminal defense attorney experienced in DWI defense.
We have over 20 years of experience in criminal defense and have successfully represented thousands of clients. If you have any further questions about Minnesota DWI laws or need an excellent criminal defense attorney, call us for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.