So you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). What happens next? Getting arrested for a DWI can be distressing and intimidating, especially for first-time offenders.
In this situation, knowing your rights and understanding the steps you should take to avoid further incriminating yourself is important. Read this comprehensive guide to learn what to do and what to expect when you get arrested for a DWI in Texas.
What to do upon arrest
When you’re pulled over under suspicions of driving under the influence, it’s crucial to remain calm and cooperative with the arresting officer. Follow their instructions, provide your identification and cooperate during the field sobriety tests if requested. Remember, being belligerent or uncooperative can worsen your situation.
Even before being arrested – and especially afterward, it’s essential to exercise your right to remain silent. This means you should avoid answering questions about the incident because anything you say can be used against you in court.
Immediate consequences to expect
In Texas, when you’re arrested for a DWI, there are immediate consequences for your driver’s license. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) will initiate an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process, which can lead to the suspension of your driving privileges.
It’s essential to understand that you have only 15 days from the date of your arrest to request an ALR hearing to contest the loss of your license. Failure to request this hearing within the given timeframe will automatically suspend your driver’s license.
Why it’s important to build a defense
Building a strong defense for your case is crucial when you’re charged with DWI. Police reports, the officer’s statement, a breathalyzer or blood test results and any dashcam or surveillance footage may help your defense – or, at minimum, inform your defense strategy.
Ultimately, it’s wisest to seek experienced legal guidance right away. That’s the ideal way to understand your rights and the potential defenses available, whether that means challenging the reason for the traffic stop, the accuracy of the chemical tests or something else.