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What happens during an OWI traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is the same as inviting trouble into your life. Police throughout the state are on the lookout for anyone who appears to be driving under the influence, so they won’t hesitate to pull you over to learn more.

Knowing what to expect at an OWI traffic stop can help you protect your legal rights. Here’s what’s likely to happen:

  • The officer will ask for your license and registration: They’ll review both to ensure that everything checks out. Knowing where to locate both of these is important. You don’t want to find yourself scrambling after the officer asks.
  • The officer will ask if you’ve been drinking: If they suspect that you’re under the influence, they’re likely to ask you directly if you’ve recently consumed alcohol. They may follow this up by asking where you’re going and/or coming from. Keep in mind that you cannot lie, but you don’t have to answer any questions without first talking to an attorney.
  • The officer will conduct a field sobriety test: If the initial conversation leads them to believe that you’re intoxicated, they’ll request that you partake in a field sobriety test to give them better insight.
  • The officer will request that you take a breathalyzer test: This tells them once and for all if your blood alcohol content level is over the legal limit.

You hope to drive away from the scene with nothing more than a scare, but there’s always a chance you could be put under arrest. If that happens, remain silent and follow the direction of the officer.

OWI charges are a big deal, as they can affect you in many ways, but there are a variety of defense strategies you can use to protect your legal rights and hopefully prevent a conviction.