For those being stopped and investigated for violation of North Carolina’s Driving While Intoxicated law, the process is very unnerving and intense. Though Police Officers often times are nice and polite about their handling of your investigation, their approach to certain processes they want you to complete to confirm whether you are, in fact, intoxicated are unduly persuasive and suggestive. In fact, certain statements made by the Police are intended to give the impression to the Driver that they are obligated to perform these tests and procedures when in fact, they are not. This is where a good Raleigh DWI Attorney or Raleigh DWI Lawyer can assist you in your case.
The reality is, the Police Officer is permitted to temporarily detain you to investigate potential criminal activity (as something as small as a license plate light can warrant a stop and temporary detainment). Additionally, they are permitted to ask you to leave the vehicle for their safety. Lastly, they are permitted to perform a frisk of the outer clothing of individuals they have ‘reason to believe are armed.’ However, beyond these three things, the Driver is not obligated to assist the Police Officer in their investigation.
I’m certain some people may ask, why not assist them and make their job easier. And while I’ll agree they have a very difficult job, there is no reason to make their job of convicting you of a crime any easier then is necessary.
The following pages will review what options you, the Driver, have available to you and what things you are obligated to do and/or what things that, should you refuse, carry with them consequences.