Your entire life can change in the moment that you see the flashing lights of a law enforcement vehicle in your rearview window. If the police are pulling you over due to alleged behavior that may indicate intoxication, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. It will be critical to know how to protect your rights and what you should expect from a suspected DWI traffic stop in Minnesota.
It is important to know how to shield your interests as much as possible during an interaction with law enforcement. Regardless of the suspicion that police have about your actions, you do not have to tolerate unfair or unreasonable behaviors. It may surprise you to learn that anyone with any amount of alcohol in his or her system could face DWI charges, and knowing how to protect yourself may benefit your future.
What should you know about a DWI traffic stop?
Police must have a valid reason to initiate any type of traffic stop. There must be clear and articulable suspicion to stop a driver for suspected drunk driving, such as swerving, making sudden stops and more. They may also pull you over if you are violating traffic laws, such as speeding, and then they may determine there is a reason to ask you to submit to sobriety tests. It may be helpful to remember the following in the event of a traffic stop:
- Keep your important documentation and your license in an easy-to-access location.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel, and do not make any unnecessary movements.
- Be respectful and courteous to police officers, but do not admit to anything.
- If asked, you do not have to submit to any physical sobriety tests, such as walking in a straight line or a premilinary breath test (but know if you do the Police can and likely will take you to the station).
- You have the right to refuse a chemical test at the station (note this is different from the preliminary breath test on the road), but this will result in the loss of your license and being chrged with a crime.
Regardless of the outcome of the traffic stop, you have the right to fight any charges filed against you.
Seeking the best possible outcome
A DWI traffic stop can change the course of your life. As soon as possible after a traffic stop, the loss of your license, charges and more, you will want to take the appropriate steps to develop the best possible defense strategy. Through a properly crafted defense, you can fight to restore your driving privileges, avoid a conviction and preserve your future interests.