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Photo of Craig R. Fishman

Tried And True Attorneys Standing Up For The Injured Since 1965

5 phrases you should avoid saying during a DWI stop in New Jersey

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | DWI/DUI Defense |

If you are behind the wheel and see the police in your rearview mirror, it is important to pull over promptly and responsibly. Granted, this can be a stressful experience—regardless of whether you have had a drink or two. But New Jersey has strict driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws. Knowing what to do—and what not to do—during a traffic stop is crucial to avoid self-incrimination.

So, you should avoid saying these five things if police stop you on suspicion of DWI, including:

  1. “I’ve been drinking.” You have the right to remain silent. Be polite and cooperative, but remember, you do not have to declare out of nowhere whether you have consumed alcohol.
  2. “I can handle my liquor.” Talking about your drinking habits does not help your situation. It only gives law enforcement more information they can use against you.
  3. “I only swerved because…” Arguing with the officer or making excuses for your driving can escalate the situation and make things worse.
  4. “Sure, you can search my car.” Unless the police have a warrant or probable cause, they need your consent to search your vehicle. You have the right to refuse.
  5. “I’ll take the roadside tests.” In New Jersey, you are not legally required to perform voluntary roadside sobriety tests. These tests can be subjective and difficult to perform, even when sober.

It is best to answer only what the officer asks. Refrain from providing unnecessary information, such as any of the things listed above, and stick to the facts.

Are you facing a DWI charge?

It is important to know your next steps in case of a DWI charge. The penalties for a DWI in New Jersey can be severe, including fines, imprisonment, and license suspension. The state’s implied consent law also means not consenting to or refusing a breath or blood test can lead to serious penalties.

So, in case you are charged with a DWI, consider seeking an attorney. An attorney can provide guidance and protect your rights throughout any legal proceedings.