DWI Detection Process

The federal government created the DWI detection process over 30 years ago, and have been training police officers in that process ever since. The process is broken down into three phases, and the arrest/no arrest decision is supposed to be based off an accumulation of information learned through all three phases. If you are in need of a highly skilled San Antonio criminal defense attorney, or Austin criminal defense attorney contact us right now for a free, no obligation case evaluation.

The first phase of a DWI occurs before you likely even know you are being investigated for a DWI. Phase I is Vehicle In Motion. During the phase the officer is supposed to watch your vehicle for signs of impairment such as weaving, failing to use turn signals, driving more than ten miles under the posted speed limit, and more. The officer is not required to pull you over immediately after seeing you commit a traffic offense, but can follow you for a time to see if you commit multiple moving violations. Of course, if the officer’s concern is for your safety, and the safety of the motoring public, he will likely stop you right away if he believes your driving places you or the public in danger.

Phase II of the DWI detection process is Personal Contact. This is when the officer approaches your vehicle and talks to you about the reason he stopped you. During this conversation the officer is trained to look for any number of indicators of intoxication such as slurred speech, confused thoughts, inability to retrieve your driver’s license or other documents, and admissions of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption does not equal alcohol intoxication. Nonetheless, if the officer smells alcoholic beverages on or about you he will ask you to step out and perform the field sobriety tests.

Phase III is the Pre-Arrest Screening. This phase is aptly named since nearly everyone who performs this screening will be arrested. This is where the officer will administer the field sobriety tests. There are three standardized field sobriety tests, and an endless number of non-standardized tests. These tests are designed for failure.

Only after completing all three phases of the DWI detection process should the officer make an arrest/no arrest decision. If the officer calls for a tow truck before he has completed all three phases, or in some way otherwise indicates he made up his mind to arrest you before he completes all three phases then he can be questioned about this on cross-examination.

If you are in need of a San Antonio criminal defense attorney, or Austin criminal defense attorney you need the DWI Dude. The Dude is a NHTSA certified SFST instructor, and is a regular teacher of these protocols around the nation. If you have been arrested anywhere in central Texas contact us right now for a free, no obligation case evaluation. You only have 15 days to file the suspension of your driver’s license. Contact us right now. Our phones are answered 24/7.

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