Pulled Over For DWI? Quick Tips To Remember

Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the state of New Jersey? As you certainly know by now, your situation is quite serious. Your financial security can be shaken by costly fines and insurance surcharges. Your job and way of life hang in the balance as you face the very real threat of a lengthy license suspension. Worse yet, you face the possibility of a jail sentence. You need a lawyer and you need one NOW. It is crucial to hire a New Jersey DWI lawyer who is prepared to FIGHT for you rather than one who will simply accompany you to Court as you plead guilty. Charged with a DWI or DUI anywhere in New Jersey? Make the smart choice and call HANNAN & BLACK LAW GROUP today.

Haven’t been charged with a DWI in New Jersey? Good. Do not drive impaired and you should have nothing to worry about. Drunk driving in New Jersey ruins lives. Don’t become a statistic. However, if you are pulled over after having too much to drink in New Jersey, there are a few important tips that you should remember.


  • Safely pull your vehicle to the side of the road as soon as possible. The reason for this is self explanatory. We all make mistakes. Do not make the situation worse than it needs to be. Failure to stop immediately will most likely result in very serious criminal charges. Besides, do you not watch Cops? No one gets away with running from the police.
  • Immediately roll down your window. In close cases, a police report noting a “strong odor of alcohol” emanating from your vehicle can often be the difference maker.
  • Calmly reach for your license, registration and proof of insurance as soon as you put the vehicle in park and roll down the window. It is never helpful to your cause to let the officer see you fumbling around for your documents.
  • Always be polite and remain calm, even if the officer seems accusatory.  In borderline DWI cases your attitude may be the deciding factor when the prosecutor decides whether or not to pursue the charges. It may not seem right to you but this is how things sometimes work.
  • Be careful to not disclose ANY incriminating information. Use your judgment here. If you are on your way home from dinner at your in-laws where you had a single beer a few hours ago, it may be in your best interest to be honest. However, NEVER admit to being drunk. NEVER admit to being impaired by drugs. The officer may try to persuade you that being honest will work in your favor. Honesty is great in marriages and golf. During a police stop, your silence will often allow your lawyer more flexibility when arguing your case.


If you are pulled over for a suspected DWI in New Jersey, the officer will most likely ask you to perform a roadside sobriety test. While some states allow the officer to administer a hand help breathalyzer at the scene, New Jersey does not. Rather, the officer will first attempt to find probable cause for an arrest.  New Jersey police will often administer a roadside sobriety test in order to obtain probable cause. There are a few things you should keep in mind while being subjected to a field sobriety test.

  • Advise the police officer of any medical or other problems you may have that could hamper your ability to perform the tests. This can be anything from a bad back to vertigo or even a learning disability. Explain any problems to the officer loud and clear (most arrests are recording with video and audio) before you begin the tests. This will allow your lawyer to potentially argue that there was not probably cause for an arrest.
  • Listen carefully to the instructions the officer gives you prior to beginning each test.  If you do not understand the instructions ask the officer to repeat or clarify them. Your ability to follow instructions is just as important as your ability to perform the test itself.
  • Take your time and remain calm.


Once the officer establishes probable cause for an arrest, you will be placed in handcuffs and transported to the police station for a breath test and processing. During this process, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • Remain polite and respectful but do not offer any incriminating evidence while en route to the police station.  If the officer’s car is warm, politely ask him to crack open one of the windows. This will allow any lingering smell of alcohol on your breath to dissipate.
  • Do not argue or even discuss the facts. This is your lawyer’s job.
  • NEVER REFUSE TO TAKE A BREATH TEST! Under New Jersey’s Implied Consent Law, you must take a breath test. Even if you are drunk, the penalties for a refusal to perform a breath test are equal to or greater than failing the test itself. If you refuse a breath test it is assumed you are intoxicated. You will then be charged with both a DWI and a DWI/REFUSAL and your chances of defeating the charges will be slim.
  • If you cough, burp or regurgitate anything at all, tell the police officers. The police are required to observe you for twenty minutes uninterrupted prior to administering a breath test. If you cough, burp or regurgitate during this observation period, the police must begin the twenty minute observation again. This could prove especially beneficial to you if you stopped drinking some time before driving as it will allow your body additional time to rid itself of the alcohol in your blood.
  • Ask for an independent blood test. Under New Jersey’s DWI statute, you are entitled to ask for an independent blood test. This may be particularly helpful if your BAC is close to one of the thresholds. The alcotest machines are not infallible. You deserve every opportunity to discount the State’s case against you.


DISCLAIMER: This article and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Anyone to whom this communication is not expressly addressed should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from their legal advisor.

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