Stephen H: You’ve been out drinking with your buddies. You’ve had a couple of drinks and you left, and you got pulled over on your way home for speeding. Oh my gosh. What’s going to happen to me now? What’s going on? Hi, my name is Stephen Hamilton, and I’m a board certified criminal defense attorney practicing in Lubbock, Texas and the South Plains.
Stephen H: That’s a scenario that happens every day of the week. If you get pulled over by a police officer and he approaches you, one of the first things that I think he’s going to tell you is, he smells alcohol on your breath, and he’s going to ask you, have you been drinking? What you do at that point is up to you. Let me tell you that you’re not required to answer any questions to the police officer. You’re not required to tell him what you had to drink, when you had to drink it, where you were coming from. You’re required to give him your name, your date of birth, your driver’s license, so don’t lie to him, but you don’t have to tell him what you had to drink.
Stephen H: If he asks you to get out of the car to do field sobriety tests, do you know you do not have to do any field sobriety tests? You don’t have to let them check your eyes for nystagmus. You don’t have to do a walk and turn, or a one leg stand or anything else at that point dealing with field sobriety test.
Stephen H: So what if you don’t do that? Well, he may arrest you anyway. My experience is if they smell, alcohol on your breath, you’re likely going to jail, whether or not you did any field sobriety test or not. If you get arrested, one of the questions that they’re going to ask you to do is to give a breath test. Do you give a breath test? I can tell you that the law says that you are not required to give a breath test in most situations. Whether you do or not has to be a judgment call that you make. You know what you had to drink, you know where you were coming from, you know that if you had a little bit of alcohol, you may not be above the legal limit.
Stephen H: And if you refuse to take the test, you also need to know that if the case is correct, in other words, if certain circumstances apply, they may very well be able to take your blood either through a warrant or through a mandatory law if you’ve had prior DWI’s, and this is a felony case. If you have a child under the 15 age in the car, or if somebody has been hurt or killed in an accident.
Stephen H: So I don’t think on this video clip I can tell you exactly what to do, because every case is different, but you need to know that you don’t have to do certain things. You don’t have to tell him what you’ve had to drink, you don’t have to do any field sobriety test, and you have the right to refuse a breath test if that’s what you think is best in your interest.
Stephen H: If you’ve had that situation happen to you, call me. My office number is (806) 794-0394. Come in and visit with me. If you have friends or family that you think would be interested in this information, because they want to know what to do if they get pulled over by a police officer, do me a favor, press the like button down below, either on YouTube or Facebook, so that they will get the same information that you’re watching today. I’m Stephen Hamilton. I hope you have a great rest of the day.