Potential Rockwall DWI clients are usually surprised to learn that they havd the right to refuse to participate in their DWI investigation. All you are required to do is provide your license and insurance. If you’ve been drinking at the Harbor and get pulled over you’re going to jail anyway. It’s just going to happen. Not getting arrested isn’t the goal, the goal is to not give the State fake junk science evidence (field balancing tests) they will use to convict of DWI (and DWI is the most expensive misdemeanor conviction in Texas).
That’s right, in Texas you do not have to answer any questions, including the most common DWI questions such as
- where you are going
- where you are coming from
- how much you have to drink
- what prescriptions you take
- what time was your first/last drink
- did you eat anything
- do you know why you were stopped
Guess what? If you have consumed two beers and tell the police that, they won’t believe you, because everyone says they had two beers, so telling the truth won’t even help. And if you’ve had multiple drinks over a long period of time, (which means much of the alcohol would be out of your system), they won’t believe your time period.
Second, you DO NOT HAVE TO PERFORM ANY DWI FIELD TESTS, INCLUDING THE PEN TEST. If an officer asks to “check your eyes to see if you are ok to drive”, politely decline. It’s a set up and the test results can not be challenged later because no one can see your eyes but the officer. We can challenge the administration of the test, but our pro conviction appellate courts have ruled that there is very little an officer has to do right when performing the pen test to testify as to the “results” in trial. Remember, you are going to jail anyway, so don’t give the State any junk science field test evidence to use against you. Be a total refusal.
I’m usually asked how an officer will react to a total refusal. Usually not very well, they will threaten you, get in your face, intimidate you, keep repeating the same questions over and over while standing inches from your face. We are taught to be deferential to the police, and if the police are mad, most people are afraid and will comply. It’s a game to get you to participate in their DWI investigation and most people crack. If you can just be polite, ask for a lawyer, and refuse to answer any questions. Bonus points if you also ask if you are free to go. That’s it, just say “I want to remain silent and talk to a lawyer, am I free to go?”. See how easy that is.
Rockwall Pro Tip- Watch for this trick question from Rockwall PD or DPS. “On a scale of 1-10 how intoxicated are you? with one being ok, and 10 being completely drunk”. No matter what you answer, you give the cop what they consider a confession. Because you are admitting to being intoxicated. Just say nothing, if you can’t, then say zero.
You should always refuse a breath or blood test as well. Rockwall PD will often get a blood warrant, and that’s ok. Let them get a warrant, just don’t consent. When you consent to a search you give up many options to challenge the search later. Plus, confirming whether or not DPS tested your blood correctly (DPS lab employees have been known to fake their work product) is expensive.
Actually, don’t consent to a search of anything ever (your car, pockets, purse etc). If the police search anyway, don’t stop them, just sit back and try to relax and I’ll litigate that issue on the back end.
Yes you will go to jail anyway, but you will be a “total refusal” case, which means you didn’t give the State any junk science SFST evidence to convict you. That’s the point. Prosecutors, judges, and too many jurors really believe that a roadside balancing test can detect intoxication perfectly. But there are many reasons someone can struggle with a roadside balancing test besides intoxication and officers rarely if ever screen for those reasons. For example, if you tell an officer you’ve had knee surgery recently, or that you have bad coordination they will usually say “just do your best”. That line appears nowhere in their training manual, but it’s fake science anyway so who cares if we make up new rules as we go along?