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How To React To A DWI

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If you are accused of a DWI, then there are certain steps that you need to take. This article will outline the best way to respond to such a situation.


This particular crime goes by different names, depending on the state you live in. It might be called a DUI (driving under the influence), a DWI (driving while intoxicated), or even an OWI (operating while impaired). All of these names basically refer to the same act: operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

The Arrest

Immediately after you are arrested, you will be handcuffed, read your rights, and probably placed in the back of a squad car. It is important to exercise the rights read to you, primarily your right to remain silent. Do not say anything incriminating, or you may cripple your defense.

The Police Station

At the police station, ask for an attorney. It is important that you already have an attorney's phone number and name ready at this stage. This means that you should consult an attorney prior to any drunk driving incident. Since you cannot possibly know when you will be accused of a DUI or any other crime, you should preemptively be familiar with at least one criminal defense attorney. You are not under any obligation to answer any questions asked to you at the station. This includes questions about how much you've had to drink or any prior history.


You will then be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Consult your attorney prior to the test, they will explain the situation to you and how best to proceed. However, a failure to submit to a breathalyzer can be construed as evidence of guilt. Therefore it is recommended that you consent to a breathalyzer test.

Find A Lawyer

One of the most important preemptive measures you can take is to find a good defense attorney to represent you. A good defense lawyer will be able to find any flaws in the conduct of the officers in the arrest, which can result in the charges being dismissed. This means that it is crucial that you remember everything that happens between your initial arrest and the arrival of your lawyer. Anything you can remember may help in your defense.

Having the right lawyer can mean the difference between freedom and jail. With a good defense lawyer, you stand a much stronger change of defeating any DWI charges.