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What to Say and What to Keep to Yourself During a DWI Stop

  • By: MMM
  • Published: April 1, 2022

Law enforcement can take action to enforce the safety and regulations of laws for drivers behind the wheel. A typical method of enforcing DWI laws and the penalties offenders can face is by conducting DWI stops. If you are found to have a BAC above the legal limit in New Hampshire, you will likely be arrested and face the charges of a DUI. Depending on the number of times you have encountered this type of charge and other factors, you can be penalized with a jail sentence, hefty fines, and a license suspension.

A DWI arrest is stressful for any individual facing charges, whether it is a first or subsequent offense. If you are apparently intoxicated and driving under the influence, it is likely that you will be arrested. However, many instances of DWI arrests can be misconstrued and an individual may be up against a wrongful conviction. You can avoid trouble with the law when knowing what to avoid when speaking with law enforcement during a New Hampshire DWI stop. At Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm, we aim to help our clients understand their rights and build a solid defense in their favor. 

Understanding Your Rights During a DWI Stop 

When you reach a DWI stop, you can expect to have a police officer ask you questions about your whereabouts and intentions. A typical DWI stop will involve:

  • Police officers asking questions.
  • Provide proof of your license and registration to a police officer upon request.
  • Waiting to be cleared to continue on your way.

It is not unlawful for a police officer to ask you for your license and registration at a drunk driving stop, even when you are not under the influence. 

Law enforcement makes an effort to evaluate a driver’s behaviors, actions, driver’s license status, and other factors that may help determine a drunk driver and get them off the road. However, you have rights that you are obligated to, and it is essential to understand the boundaries.  

Implied Consent in New Hampshire

Under the implied consent law, any individuals operating a vehicle while suspected to be under the influence are deemed to give consent to being tested or examined to determine any drug or alcoholic influence while they are behind the wheel. Any individual that law enforcement determines is suspected to be under the influence is subjected to a breathalyzer test or drug test performed by law enforcement. There are legal consequences to refusing to test and it can often cause more trouble in these cases. 

What Am I Obligated to Tell Law Enforcement?

If you are ever pulled to the side of the road by law enforcement or encounter a DWI stop, you may wonder what you are obligated to tell law enforcement and how you can respond without breaking the law. Since an administrative license suspension can be placed on a driver’s license if one refuses an alcohol impairment test, it can be frightening for drivers to encounter a DWI stop, leaving no choice but to abide by the police officer’s judgment. 

However, speaking with law enforcement will not always result in an arrest. You are expected to identify yourself and follow their procedure of license checks at a routine DWI stop. So long as you maintain a calm demeanor and do not state anything that may escalate the situation, you have no reason to raise suspicion. 

What to Avoid Saying at a DWI Stop

At a DWI stop, it is common for a police officer to check your license and registration, and gather information from your behavior and what you say. Likely, you’ll be instructed to continue on your way in case of no suspicion. However, if they suspect that you are under the influence or show signs of suspicion within your vehicle, they may take further action to investigate. In these cases, you should know that law enforcement is obligated to read you your Miranda rights and inform you of your right to remain silent. 

During a DWI stop you should: 

  • Not make excuses or give explanations for any unlawful actions or illegal belongings. 
  • Decline to answer questions about how much you have been drinking. 
  • Remain silent upon further or additional questioning. 
  • Ask to speak to your attorney. 

You are not obligated to give a statement without your lawyer present. This will help you avoid stating evidence and claims that may be used against you in the future. Complying with law enforcement and informing them of your choice to speak with your attorney first will help you avoid any further trouble that may be incriminating. 

Shepherd & Hayes Are Experienced Attorneys Prepared to Help You After a New Hampshire DWI Arrest 

At Shepherd & Hayes Law Firm, our trusted criminal defense attorneys have helped many clients facing DWI charges in New Hampshire. In many cases, if law enforcement’s permissions are exceeded, individuals can wrongfully face charges and be placed into trouble with the law. If you are facing charges after being arrested at a New Hampshire DWI stop, you have the right to remain silent and ask to speak to your attorney. 

When you choose to exercise your right to an attorney, you are choosing the best option for you, as this helps you understand your rights, the charges you are facing, and how to strategize the best course of action for yourself. An attorney seeks to protect your rights at all times and analyzes every aspect of your arrest to make sure there are no wrongful convictions or penalties. Our attorney is dedicated to helping our clients, and we are eager to help you after a DWI arrest. To speak with our New Hampshire DWI attorney and schedule a free consultation, you may fill out a contact form or call us at (603) 233-1626

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