officer conducting field sobriety test at a DWI stop

What You Need to Know About a DWI Stop

The loud blare of the sirens and the flashing lights in your rearview are an unwanted sight for any driver. However, when you find yourself being questioned for driving while intoxicated, it can easily turn into a moment of confusion, stress, and concern.

A DWI comes with significant penalties that include driver’s license suspension, jail time, fines, and a potential ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. As such, it’s crucial for you to recognize your rights at a DWI stop. Knowing what you should and shouldn’t do can impact the situation greatly.

Probable Cause

In the state of Louisiana, police can only place you under arrest if they have a warrant or if there is probable cause. Typically, this means the police who stops you must have a good reason to do so, such as if you were swerving, speeding, missing a tail or headlight, or didn’t indicate a turn.

If a cop stops you without probable cause, they are violating your rights, and you may be able to defend the arrest effectively.

The Breathalyzer

Law enforcement uses a breathalyzer to help determine blood alcohol levels of drivers on the road. When they approach you with the breathalyzer, they’re looking to determine whether you are over the legal limit to charge you with a DWI. In Louisiana, BAC levels are looked at in the following ways:

  • Under a .05 BAC means you will not be presumed as driving while intoxicated
  • Between a .05 and .08 means there’s no presumption of impairment
  • Over .08 is subject to a DWI arrest

The laws are different for anyone under the age of 21; in which case the legal limit is .02.

In Louisiana, there’s an automatic assumption once you receive your driver’s license, you submit to breathalyzer and other testing once requested by an officer. If you refuse, you face additional penalties. A refusal comes with an automatic six-month (at minimum) driver’s license suspension.

15 Days

It’s important to act quickly if you are charged with DWI. You have 15 days to file a request for a hearing with the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. If you don’t file within the timeline, you can have your driver’s license suspended. Working with a lawyer is the most effective way to challenge your charge and pursue the just outcome you need.

At The Ambeau Law Firm, it’s the top priority of our Baton Rouge DWI lawyers to safeguard your rights. We’ll look at your arrest and determine where your rights may have been violated. We’ll also look to see if the means of evidence was accurate—such as determining if a breathalyzer was calibrated correctly and gives off an accurate readout.

For strong defense you can rely on, call our team at (225) 230-1181 today.

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