Driving while intoxicated (DWI) carries serious penalties, including fines, imprisonment and loss of driver’s license. In New York, you can face these penalties if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher and 0.04 or higher for drivers of commercial vehicles.
When the police have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, they will stop you. Here are three questions they might ask you:
“Do you know why I pulled you over?”
The police ask this question to see if you recognize you did something wrong. TYou are well within your right to say, “I don’t know” or “No sir/ma’am.”
This may not constitute lying to the police because you are uncertain why they stopped you.
“Have you been drinking?”
The purpose of this question is to confirm the officer’s suspicion. Some drivers respond with “I’ve just had two beers/a glass of wine” to “ease” the situation, but it works against them.
You should also not lie. If you tell the officers that you have not been drinking, and the breathalyzer test proves the contrary, you may be penalized for lying to the police besides the potential DWI.
Exercising your right to remain silent may be your best move. But this does not mean refusing to speak at all. You may use responses like, “Sir/ma’am, I have been advised not to answer that.”
“Where are you coming from?”
Police officers ask this question when they suspect a driver is coming from a bar or a party. You don’t need to tell them where you are coming from. You can exercise your right to remain silent.
You should be careful about what you tell the police at a DWI stop. If you are charged with a DWI, it may be time to get legal guidance to defend yourself.