Turn to Corley Legal A Team Who Will Fight For You

About DWI Stops

San Antonio DWI Lawyer Helping You

A citizen can be charged for DWI in multiple ways. The state can charge a citizen based on consumption of alcohol alone, a combination of alcohol and drugs, or drugs alone. The consumption of illegal drugs can be used by the state to attempt to show intoxication. However, it is not uncommon for the prosecutor to attempt to show intoxication due to prescription medications a citizen is taking as prescribed by the doctor. There are many issues that will play a significant part in the outcome of your case. It is absolutely imperative to retain an experienced, aggressive DWI attorney in San Antonio to defend you against the DWI allegations.

How to Handle a Stop & Investigation of DWI

If you are pulled over by an officer and the officer smells alcohol on your breath or in your car, the officer will ask you to step out of your car and will begin to investigate you for DWI. It is important to understand what is happening and how to handle the investigation to protect yourself and your rights.

Be cautious when confronted by any law enforcement officer.

You Have the Right to Refuse All Tests

When stopped by a police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or state trooper, the first thing to know about roadside field sobriety tests is that you are not required to perform them!

It is your right to refuse these field sobriety tests and it is absolutely in your best interest to refuse them whether you are stone cold sober or have some alcohol in your system. Unfortunately, the police are not required to explain that you do not have to take these tests. The police make hundreds of arrests a year and are wise on how to obtain your cooperation.

It is important to understand that every mistake you make during testing is considered a “clue” that you are intoxicated. The Eye Test only requires four “clues” to indicate you are intoxicated. The Walk and Turn test and One Leg Stand test both only requires two mistakes to indicate you are intoxicated. The bottom line is that once you make two mistakes on either of these tests, you will be arrested for DWI.

Eye Test (Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus - HGN)

Rather than asking if you are willing to take some tests, the officer will typically just begin the test by telling you to stand with your arms by your side and follow the light with only your eyes by not moving your head. You have the right to refuse to perform this eye test. This eye test is called the Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN).

There are many causes of HGN other than alcohol. However, the state will assert that the reason the officer saw signs of HGN is due to alcohol. This test cannot be recorded so that we can see for ourselves what your eyes look like during the test…left only with what the officer claims they observed. In our experience, it is very rare for an officer to observe less than four to six “clues” on this test.

Our legal team has seen cases that came back with a blood test with a BAC of 0 and the officer had still claimed to see these clues of intoxication. You should always refuse to perform this test.

Walk & Turn Test

The Walk and Turn test will actually begin before the officer tells you it is time to start. The officer will instruct you to stand in a heel-to-toe position with your arms by your side. They will then tell you not to start before they say so. However, for arrest purposes, the test already started when you got into the heel-to-toe position. If you step out of that position, it is counted against you as one “clue” of intoxication before the officer has even told you to start the test. You will be required to stand in that position while the officer gives you a lengthy set of instructions.

The basic test consists of you walking the line nine steps out and nine steps back. There are 8 possible “clues” on this test and there are 96 opportunities for you to make a mistake. This means you must perform 96 tasks while making only 1 mistake or the test will “indicate” you are intoxicated. The officer only needs you to make two mistakes and they can use this as evidence to arrest you for DWI. The officer is not required to explain to you what they will count you off for, nor will they.

It is not uncommon for clients to tell me they believed they “passed” this test; however, the officer claims they made two or more mistakes. Mistakes that my clients weren’t aware of committing.

If you were to take a test in school and only made two mistakes, you would receive an “A.” When you take the Walk and Turn test and make only two mistakes, you get arrested for DWI.

One Leg Stand Test

The One Leg Stand test will also begin before the officer tells you it is time to start. The officer will instruct you to stand with your feet together with your arms by your side. They will then tell you to stay in that position until they tell you to start. However, for arrest purposes, the test started when you got into this position. If you step out of that position while the officer is explaining the rest of the test, you will already have one “clue” of intoxication before you even think the test has started.

This test will require you to balance on one leg for 30 seconds without swaying at all, without using your arms for balance at all, keeping both legs perfectly straight the whole time, and counting out loud (one-thousand-one, one thousand-two, etc.) for the full 30 seconds. The officer only needs you to make two mistakes and they can use this as evidence to arrest you for DWI.

Questioning By the Officer

After the officer stops and asks for your driver’s license and insurance, they will most likely begin asking you a number of questions. Some will be related to alcohol and some will seem unrelated and irrelevant to you. Make no mistake, if an officer asks you a question, there is a reason and it is helping them to gather evidence against you. You have the right to refuse to answer these questions just as you have the right to refuse to perform sobriety tests.

Don’t act out or say too much. Don’t agree with them when asked, “don’t you think you’ve had too much to drink to be driving tonight?” Oftentimes, the officer will ask you on a scale from 1 to 10 how intoxicated you are. Even answering one is an admission of intoxication. Remember, just having alcohol in your system does not equal intoxicated and “buzzed” does not equal intoxicated. Every word you say is being recorded! I like to think of it this way. The police are generally not bad people, but when being investigated for DWI or any criminal offense, they are your legal enemy.

How Do I Refuse to Perform Tests or Answer Questions?

We advise our clients to politely refuse tests and questions. Simply tell the officer the truth – This seems like a serious matter and you want to cooperate; however, you want to talk to an attorney first. You will not be able to talk to an attorney at this point but this will explain why you are refusing tests and questioning.

If you have any questions or concerns about DWI stops or tests, call (210) 361-7322 and schedule a free consultation with our DWI lawyer in San Antonio.

Experience the Corley Legal Difference

Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please enter the county in which you were charged.
  • Please select an option.
  • Please enter a message.