Being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence can be frightening and overwhelming, especially in the presence of actual impairment that may inhibit your ability to think clearly. Knowing what to expect in advance can be an asset to any difficult and stressful situation, and an unexpected traffic stop is no exception.
What should you expect from an OWI stop in Indiana?
From the moment you see those flashing red-and-blue lights in your rearview mirror, the traffic stop may seem to happen very quickly. It’s helpful to slow it down and break down the components, looking at each facet of an OWI stop.
- If a police officer observes erratic driving or suspects impairment for some other reason, they may pull you over. They will observe you closely, checking for things like alcohol on your breath and dilated eyes. Keep in mind that your responses to their questions matter during the stop; be careful not to incriminate yourself.
- The police officer may ask you to perform a field sobriety test to evaluate your driving competency. Know that you can refuse, however, a defense attorney may use that against you later if your case goes to court. If you choose to take a field sobriety test and fail, the officer will ask you to take a chemical test.
- If you fail the field sobriety test, the officer will ask you to take a blood, urine or breath test, which provides a more accurate record of your blood alcohol concentration levels. If you test above a .08% BAC level, the officer will arrest you and charge you with an OWI.
- The city will tow your car at your expense.
If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you will need an experienced defense attorney. A strong defense is possible for an OWI charge.