Look, you can revisit your decision-making processes on why you drove drunk later. Right now is not a time for self pity or reflection. Everyone makes mistakes. And you just made one, but that doesn't mean you have to make ten more in the next hour to really seal your fate. Right now it is crucial that you focus and stop digging your own OWI conviction grave. Every individual has to make their own decisions as to how to approach this type of situation. However, if you know you are over the limit and you can remember these 5 points, you will be in a much better place than you think.
Be Polite and Calm, No Attitude!
Police officers have a difficult job already, why piss them off? Be polite, roll down your windows, turn your dome light on, and have your Driver's License and insurance card ready.
Never Admit Guilt!
At this point, probable cause for pulling you over is a moot point to be dealt with later. You're pulled over and you're talking to a police officer who's observing your every verbal remark, eye twitch, cough, and shake. There is no reason for you to help him arrest you. Admit nothing. With all due respect, kindly advise the officer that you are unwilling to answer any questions. If an Officer assumes you've been drinking, what good will it do to tell him you didn't just come from a bar or that you only had two drinks? None. Remain silent, politely.
Think carefully before taking any roadside field sobriety tests or preliminary breath tests.
At this point, you are out of the car because the officer suspects that you have consumed too much alcohol to legally drive. Do not consent to anything, and I mean anything. Politely state that you would like to exercise your right not to perform any field sobriety or preliminary breath tests. Field sobriety tests are designed to do two things, fail you and justify the officer arresting you for OWI. If you have been drinking, you are not going to pass these tests. It is much better for you to refuse to take them rather than allowing the officer the privilege of writing a three page report detailing the tests you failed. Trust me, you will be helping yourself in the long run. At this point, the officer is going to arrest you for suspicion of drunk driving and take you to a police station or hospital to conduct more accurate tests to determine your blood alcohol content.
Take only evidentiary tests - breath & blood!
Now you are either at the hospital or the police station. Either way, it is now time to consent to an evidentiary test, and your location is indicative of which test you will most likely be required to take. Take the test. DO NOT REFUSE! In Wisconsin, refusals typically carry harder penalties than OWI convictions and they will simply take your blood under Wisconsin's Implied Consent Law anyway.
Contact a Drunk Driving Defense Attorney ASAP!
In Wisconsin, you do not have the right to an attorney prior to blood or breath testing, but that doesn't mean you can't ask for one. Make your intentions politely known early and often. After you are done with your testing, request a phone call to contact an attorney.
As soon as you are released from jail, timelines start to run and deadlines start counting down. You cannot assume that you have time. Contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney IMMEDIATELY. A general criminal defense lawyer is insufficient. The practice of OWI/DUI defense has become so complex of late that criminal defense attorneys are simply not educated enough to analyze and evaluate the science and procedure within your OWI charge. An attorney that focuses on drunk driving defense will have the prerequisite training and education to evaluate your case, find any weaknesses that may exist and represent you in the best possible way.
Additional resources provided by the author
This information regarding steps to take when pulled over for drunk driving is meant as a guide and is not to be considered legal advice. Please contact an attorney for specific legal advice.
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