If you are pulled over, you must remain calm. While this is often challenging, especially if you have had a few drinks, ensuring you do not make the situation worse is imperative.
Being stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving isn’t ever a good situation. However, there are steps you can take to defend yourself. The key is to make sure you avoid making the mistakes here, which can complicate your DUI case significantly.
1. Refusing the requested blood alcohol content test
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code states that if you drive a vehicle in the state, you have consented to a blood alcohol test when requested by the police. Refusing the test can result in additional penalties, including losing your driver’s license and facing aggravated DWI charges, which come with mandatory jail time.
2. Assuming the worst
While the Breathalyzer equipment may state that you are over the legal limit, it does not always mean you were “drunk” when arrested. Multiple factors can cause a false positive, such as issues with the equipment, the officer not following the proper process when administering the test, certain medications or a preexisting medical condition.
3. Saying too much
The police are going to ask you questions. They are trained to ask leading questions to get the information they can use to substantiate the charges they file. If the officer asks if you have been drinking, you can tell them you decline to answer. Do not try to “talk your way out” of a DWI charge. This will likely make the situation worse.
DWI charges are serious and come with serious penalties if convicted. You can protect your rights by knowing the mistakes to avoid in this situation.