You experience a great deal of stress anytime you’re pulled over by the police. The feeling is even worse if you’ve had a few drinks before getting behind the wheel. You should remain calm and pay attention to the following steps. Doing so can help keep a bad situation from getting worse.

Remain calm and respectful

Nobody has ever talked themselves out of trouble with the police. Even if you could, doing so in an argumentative or belligerent manner isn’t going to do the trick. All you’ll accomplish is managing to talk yourself into bigger trouble.

Remain calm and polite. Answer the officer’s questions without volunteering any more information than is necessary. If you end up being placed under arrest, it’s best to assert your right to a lawyer and to exercise your right to remain silent.

You don’t have to perform field sobriety tests

If the officer suspects you’ve been drinking, you’ll be asked to perform field sobriety tests. You don’t have to submit to these tests. You won’t face additional penalties for refusing these tests.

That said, you will face additional penalties if you refuse a Breathalyzer test, including the loss of your driver’s license. You can always challenge the results of a blood, breath, or urine test later on.

Remember that you have rights

Remember that you’re innocent until proven guilty. You have rights and defenses to a DWI arrest are available.

The officer must have had probable cause to stop your vehicle. If there were no reasonable reason to make a traffic stop, any evidence related to your DWI would likely be inadmissible. You can also establish other defenses. In any case, it’s vital that you discuss your situation with a skilled professional who can help you determine the best path forward.