Criminal Attorneys Aren't Just for Criminals

Resisting Arrest During A DWI Arrest

by Eva Holmes

You might think that being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is bad enough, but things can get worse. Your behavior and actions during the roadside stop can mean your DWI has enhanced counts and additional charges if you are not careful. Read on to find out more about keeping a cool head when stopped for suspicion of DWI.

Unexpected Charges

Many defendants are confounded when they end up with a resisting arrest charge. After all, they certainly did not lead law enforcement on a chase nor did they put up physical resistance when confronted. When it comes to resisting arrest, the law allows for suspects to be charged if any of the below behavior is present during the encounter:

  1. Refusing to answer basic questions. You must provide your correct full name at the very minimum.
  2. Using profanity towards a law enforcement officer.
  3. Refusing to comply with requests in a timely manner. For example, if you fail to follow the officer's instructions to wait in a certain place, to keep hands out of pockets, etc.
  4. Asking repeated questions of law enforcement.
  5. Arguing with law enforcement.
  6. Lying to law enforcement about weapons or illegal substances in your vehicle.
  7. Refusing to allow a search of your person or vehicle.

Avoiding Resisting Charges

Put yourself in the shoes of law enforcement personnel. They deal with a wide variety of people, and their methods of detaining people are a safety measure against violence by suspects. If your actions during a traffic stop make their jobs harder, you have just increased your chances of having charges added on to an already serious DWI charge. To avoid that, follow these tips:

  1. Be polite – If you treat the officer with courtesy the same might be afforded you.
  2. Be compliant – Listen instead of speaking and do what the officer says to do.
  3. You don't have to answer any questions, and the less you say during a stop, the better you off you will be.

Wait until you have an attorney present before you answer any questions about how much you've been drinking, when you last had a drink, etc. Staying silent but compliant and polite is the recommended path to take to avoid antagonizing law enforcement during a stop. Everything you say and do is being recorded, often by multiple sources, so be aware and circumspect.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, you need the help of a DWI attorney.