Operating while intoxicated (OWI) can lead to severe penalties. In Iowa, it’s unlawful to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. When the police have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving, they will stop you to perform required tests and ask questions. Anything you say can be used against you.
The following are three things not to say:
“I’m not drunk”
When the police ask if you have been drinking, you should not respond with “I’m not drunk.” This is because if the breathalyzer results prove otherwise, you may be charged for lying to the police besides the OWI.
“I just had one drink”
Admitting you drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel, regardless of the amount, can be self-incriminating. Thus, even though saying you just had two beers or one drink may seem harmless, the police may use this statement to prove you confirmed you were drunk.
“I will prove I’m not drunk”
When the police accuse you of being drunk and get a false positive in the breathalyzer test, you may be upset and start telling them you will prove you are not drunk through field sobriety tests. However, these tests can lead to the wrong results, especially when the officer who conducts them fails to follow set guidelines.
Of course, you will defend yourself. But informing the police so or trying to prove you are not drunk on the spot can work against you.
If the police stop you for OWI, you should be careful about what you say. It helps to politely refuse to answer questions. Consider responding with “I have been advised by an experienced law firm not to answer questions.” You should also get legal help to make informed decisions.