For most drivers, they think they don’t need to know about DWI law until they actually get arrested for a DWI. Unfortunately, a lot of drunk driving cases could be stopped before they even begin if drivers knew what they needed to do if they were pulled over by law enforcement after having a few drinks out on the town.
WHAT TO DO WHEN PULLED OVER IN MINNESOTA?
Unfortunately, there is no magic code word or cheap life hack that you can do or say when pulled over by the police in Minnesota. When you are looking a police officer in the eye, your best course of action is to make sure you don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole.
In Minnesota, law enforcement cannot just stop you for no reason. Be knowledgeable that if you were pulled over, it was because you were acting suspiciously. Maybe they watched your swerving or saw you accidentally stop at a green light. When they stop you, place both hands on the wheel and have your license and registration ready to go.
Like any standard traffic stop, the police officer will begin asking you questions. While some of these questions may seem like small talk, they still serve a purpose of information gathering. They are looking for any signs of intoxication, and that can include nervous shaking or other anxious behavior.
While you should answer a police officer’s questions, you should keep your answers polite, but concise. The more you talk to the officer, the more likely it is you will slip up and give incriminating information. When it comes to talking at a DWI stop, police officers are also listening to if you slur your words, a sign of intoxication. In short, answer their questions, but don’t ramble.
SKIP THE WIVES’ TALES
We have all heard of them – sucking on a penny, gargling with mouthwash, chewing gum, ect. They are all lauded as ways to beat a breathalyzer test. Unfortunately for you, they are all myths. In fact, activities like gargling with mouthwash, a product made from alcohol, will make matters much worse. Add on to the fact that if a police officer sees you engaging in many of these activities, it looks very suspicious. While gum may not be as conspicuous, a police officer will still be suspicious of you chomping on a fresh piece.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SKIP FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS
If the police officer believes that you have been drinking and are over the legal limit, they may ask you to get out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety testing on the side of the road. This could be the walk and turn that challenge your motor skills or more official handheld breathalyzer.
When asked to take these tests, technically you have the right to contact a lawyer and ask if you need to submit to this testing. Some police officers may not let you make that call. However, it is important to know that legally you can refuse to take these field tests. Once this happens, you will likely be taken to the station for either a blood, urine, or breath test. These tests, you cannot refuse or risk creating an aggravating factor for your DWI case.
CONTACT A LAWYER
You would be right to assume that if you ask for a lawyer, it makes you look suspicious. However, if you are being asked out of the car for field testing or placed under arrest, be assured that law enforcement is already suspicious that you were driving while intoxicated. By contacting a lawyer as soon as possible, they can advise you on the right steps to take to avoid making your case worse. Often the most successful DWI defenses start when a defense attorney is brought in early.
Have you been arrested in the Twin Cities metro area and need help? Contact us today to see what the Speas Law Firm can do to make sure you are not left suffering under harsh DWI punishments.