What to do if you are stopped for DWI

Getting pulled over can be frightening and stressful - especially if you are suspected of driving while under the influence. If you are pulled over for a DWI in Asheville, remember this information- it could save you loads of trauma and financial burden in the future.

First things first: please do not drink and drive. It is dangerous, deadly, and unnecessary. Always have a designated driver, or hire a taxi.

What to do if you are stopped for DWI in Asheville:

1. First things first: pull over safely, using your turn signal.

Then, stay in the car. Remain relaxed and be polite with the officer. Avoid suspicious behavior such as concealing objects or disposing of items.

2. Do not incriminate yourself

Avoid talking too much - you can risk incriminating yourself. Do not lie, either. The best thing is to remain silent and honest.

If an officer asks how much you've had to drink, you can politely decline to answer, but this could increase the officer's suspicion. 

3. You can refuse searches 

If you are stopped and an officer asks to search your car, you can refuse. The Fourth Amendment protects your right to privacy and unlawful search and seizures. There are still instances where an officer can search your vehicle without your consent, though. 

4. The breathalyzer test

There are a battery of tests to determine a person's impairment, including the one-leg stand, the walk and turn, HGN ("follow the pen" test), and the portable breathalyzer. Any mistake you make in performing these tests can be used as evidence of your impairment. 

Remember, you are within your rights to politely refuse all of these tests. 

The numeric results of the portable breathalyzer are not admissible in court.

5. Hire an attorney

If you are arrested for driving while impaired, you'll need an experienced and compassionate DWI lawyer. A good criminal defense attorney can see issues in your case that may not be as evident to the untrained eye - which can make the difference between guilt and innocence. 

Absent any issues, an attorney can craft a plea bargain that best suits your needs, potentially avoiding jail time, supervised probation, or unnecessary convictions. 

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us. 

DWI Statistics 

  • 28 Americans die each day from drunk driving accidents 
  • 10,265 Americans died in drunk driving accidents in 2015 [CDC]
  • $44 billion per year in costs from drunk driving damages and deaths (per data from 2010) [NHTSA]

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Mark Rosekind, “we’re seeing these increases [in drunk driving accidents] that we have not seen in 50 years. It’s tragic.”