Summer in New Braunfels usually means regular weekend trips to the Guadalupe or Comal River for some tubing. On any given weekend, these areas are filled with people from Austin to San Antonio enjoying the cooling effects of the water and drinking beer.
However, there is also a fairly strong police presence on these rivers and many visitors find themselves in handcuffs after a fun-filled day. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a common charge that many people face after spending the day on the river.
A DWI stop can be a scary experience for many drivers but there are certain things you can do to make the process easier on yourself if you make the mistake of drinking and driving this summer. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are ever involved in a DWI stop.
If a law enforcement officer is pulling you over, this generally means that the officer has observed something that makes him or her think you are breaking traffic law. Depending on the circumstances, the officer may already be on edge.
If you are being pulled over, do so as quickly and safely as possible. Also, stay in the car until the officer instructs you otherwise. Getting out of your car before given a direct order to do so could cause the officer to become more dangerous and might escalate the situation. Simply sit in your vehicle with your hands clearly visible until the officer directs you otherwise.
Even if you feel like you have done nothing wrong or the officer is being rude or aggressive, maintain your composure and be polite. Acting in an uncooperative or combative manner will only make the situation worse. Comply with the officer in as much as it does not violate your rights and avoid any other charges such as resisting arrest.
Invoke the 5th
While you should be polite and follow the instructions of the officers administering the DWI stop, that does not mean you have to offer more information than absolutely necessary. You can invoke the 5th Amendment and remain silent about anything that could possibly incriminate you or be used by the prosecution against you.
If you ever find yourself on the wrong side a DWI stop, remember the above tips. Not only can they deescalate the situation, but they might also help when it comes time to plead your case in court. If you are facing a DWI charge, remember that you have rights and options.