After being pulled over by a police officer, any Louisiana driver may understandably feel apprehensive. You may feel your heart begin to race as you think back to the drinks you had at dinner, but because that was hours ago, you also think that fact should not affect your situation. However, you may think differently when the officer begins asking you about drinking.
Some officers will commonly ask drivers if they have been drinking, which is a question you can easily answer with yes or no. Though it may seem like an innocent question, it may work in your favor not to answer at all. Remember, you have the right to remain silent, even if an officer has not directly informed you of that right.
Officers ask questions because they are looking to gain information that may indicate that you are driving while intoxicated. The manner in which they ask you questions may differ, and it is possible for officers to lull you into thinking that they are your friends or simply want to have a conversation. However, they use these tactics to gain information you may not have provided otherwise.
Some techniques police officers may use during DWI interrogations include the following:
- Active listening: An officer may allow you to talk for an extended period of time without interrupting and may even prompt you to continue talking. When you talk 80 percent of the time and an officer talks 20 percent of the time, the officer is gaining much more information, possibly to use against you.
- Open-ended questions: Again, as a way to keep you talking and to gain information, officers may ask open-ended questions, such as asking about your day or how long you have been driving. The questions may seem innocent enough, but really, it often results in drivers providing more information than a simple yes or no answer.
- Getting you to like them: Talking to someone who is actively listening often puts people at ease and makes the listener seem friendly and trustworthy. You may feel comfortable talking to officers who are actively listening because you think they are on your side, but that is not the case.
In most cases, it is in the favor of the driver to remain silent when interrogated by a police officer. In certain instances, an officer may still place you under arrest for DWI even if you have not answered unnecessary questions. If this happens to you, you have additional rights you can exercise, and gaining information on your legal options may prove useful to you.