In the event you are stopped by the police, the officer may ask you if you have had any alcoholic beverages to drink. While I do not recommend lying to the police, you are under no obligation to answer any such questions. You may simply stand mute, and not say anything. Or, you may reply with a firm, "no." Any admission of drinking will be used against you, both at any administrative hearing regarding your license suspension, and at your trial.
Politely decline any coordination tests
If you are stopped by the police, the officer may ask you to take what the officer says are "Standardized Field Sobriety Tests." These are, in fact, tests of coordination and balance. It is almost impossible to perform perfectly on these tests, no matter how sober you are. And, since your lack of perfection on them will be used against you, both at any driver's license suspension hearing, and your trial, you should politely, but firmly decline. You are not legally required to take any such tests.
You should also decline the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, or HGN test. This is a test where the officer wants to check your eyes. Since there is no way for you to know how you performed on this, or to understand any science, if any, behind it, you should politely decline this test as well.
Refuse any chemical or blood tests
Many people who do not consider themselves intoxicated, agree to take a chemical test. They frequently are surprised to find they failed such a test. That is because they have no way of knowing what their blood alcohol concentration is, and also because the accuracy of such a test is subject to question.
Many jurisdictions are using a procedure now to require a blood test for those who refuse the breath test. In that situation, you may not have a choice, and must submit to the blood test. However, a competent attorney will closely scrutinize the search warrant used to obtain your blood, as well as the underlying affidavit so as to test whether or not proper legal procedures were employed.
Get a good attorney
DWI is a very specialized area these days. The attorney you choose should be one who devotes a substantial percentage of his or her practice to the defense of these cases. This is not any area where you would want to trust your case to a part-time practitioner.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.