“Just Say No — Politely.”
Disclaimer: The following information by Scheiner Law Group, P.C. Houston DWI attorney is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. These are merely suggestions that we have offered our past clients, who were curious about what to do if stopped for suspicion of DWI in Houston, TX. You should consult a Houston DWI Attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
- Avoid drinking and driving.
But if you are stopped by the police
- Don’t get out of the car unless you are asked to do so;
- Be firm (but polite) in standing up for the following rights;
- Don’t answer any questions or participate in a police “interview” while in custody, until you have first consulted with an attorney;
- Don’t agree to any “field sobriety test” if:
- you are under the influence of alcohol or any other substance;
- you suffer from poor balance — whether due to clumsiness, illness, injury, or any physical defect effecting coordination or the lower body;
- you might have difficulty standing on one leg for 30 seconds (without using your arms for balance); walking a straight line, heel-to-toe (without using your arms for balance); or standing perfectly still (in an awkward, heel-to-toe position), while a police officer gives you detailed instructions about how to perform your field sobriety tests;
- NEVER agree to any test in which an officer asks you to follow a pen (or pen light, or the officers finger tip) with your eyes, while keeping your head still;*
- Even if you disregard these suggestions and decide to “cooperate with the police,” at least make sure that you are being audio and video taped at all times;
- Don’t take a breath test, if you have had anything more than a single drink.
Caution: Refusing to take a chemical test in Houston, Texas will almost certainly result in the suspension of your driver’s license for at least 180 days. However, our concerns about the potential inaccuracy of breath tests, plus the added difficulty of defending Houston DWI cases involving breath tests, make it impossible for us to recommend that our clients voluntarily submit to breath testing. We prefer that our clients refuse a breath test, if the client has had anything more than a single alcoholic beverage.
* When an officer gives you a “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test, he is not testing your ability to follow his pen while keeping your head still. The officer is looking for an involuntary “jerking” of the eyeballs, which some believe is associated with alcohol or controlled substances. The problem with this test, however, is that many officers simply lack the knowledge, training, or experience to administer the test properly. A common result is that while the client believes that he or she has passed the test with flying colors, the police report often states that the client has failed miserably.