Drinking is a normal part of life for many in Texas. We drink at happy hour, on holidays and at parties. However, even if we believe we are sober enough to drive safely, police will be on the lookout for motorists they suspect are driving while intoxicated. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving it is important to know your rights.
What to do if you are pulled over by police
If you are pulled over by police on suspicion of drunk driving, first and foremost you have the right to remain silent. Stop driving as soon as possible and park in a safe place. Turn off your vehicle, open the window partially and keep your hands on the steering wheel where police can see them. If the police ask for your license and registration you can provide them with these documents. One issues specific to drunk driving, however, is whether the police ask you to perform a breath test.
It is not unusual for police to ask a motorist they suspect is drunk to perform a breath test. Do you have to comply? Under Texas law, all motorists in the state implicitly agree to submit to a breath test if asked. This is part of the privilege of driving and is referred to as “implied consent.” You do have the right to refuse to undergo a breath test. However, you should note that your driver’s license may be suspended if you do so. Still, some people decide it is worthwhile to refuse a breath test, just as some people prefer to remain silent.
Know your rights
Being pulled over by police can be stressful and intimidating, especially if you are accused of drunk driving. Even in this situation, however, you have the right to remain silent and the right to decide whether to perform a breath test if asked. Knowing your rights can help you defend yourself against criminal allegations brought against you.