DWI Charge – 3 Big Reasons You Can Be Arrested
Most Common Reason – Blood Alcohol Level
Texas, as you may know, is a zero-tolerance state. This means the most obvious reason you can get a DWI charge is by having alcohol in your system. Being a zero-tolerance state, even a trace amount of alcohol found on the breath, in the urine, or in the blood of a minor is considered punishable by both the civil and criminal arms of the law. You can, and will, be arresting for driving while intoxicated even without having your blood alcohol level tested.
Failure to Comply with Field Sobriety Test
- Examples of failure to comply with field sobriety tests include
- Not answering a direct request
- Demanding a lawyer when asked to comply
- Refusal of testing either verbally or physically
Blood alcohol level is not the only factor used by law enforcement to assess the appropriation of a DWI charge; lack of cooperation is another. Suspicion is a justifiable reason for a law enforcement agent to request sobriety testing, and compliance will make the entire process easier for all parties involved. You do have rights, but the law in incidents of this type is such that you immediately assume the burden of proof against allegation.
Your Behavior Could Lead to a Driving While Intoxicated Charge
You are subject to possible blood alcohol level testing if you have been pulled over for any reason, from excessive speed to a broken headlight. If the officer, once he has approached the vehicle and assessed the situation, is given reason to believe that your behavior or speech suggests that you have consumed any form of drugs or alcohol, or smells or sees the remnants of either, you are subject to being tested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated. If your sobriety is altered or if you refuse to comply with testing under these conditions, you are considered eligible for a DWI charge.
Leaving a bar is cause for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, with public inebriation also a punishable offence, even for those who do not intend to drive. Individuals who have displayed rowdy behavior before entering or operating a vehicle are suspect, as are those who display a lack of self-control while behind the wheel.
What To Do If You Are Stopped
A good rule of thumb would be to comply with whatever is asked of you during a routine traffic stop, whether you are under the influence of any altering substances or not. Even in the face of verbal abuse or what you perceive to be brutality, you should allow the police to do their job. In the event that your arrest is a result of the stop, your case will begin after your rights have been read to you, and you will begin mounting your defense thereafter.
You will need to remember the details of the traffic stop, including any events prior to the stop, the reason given to you by the officer for pulling you over, and the reason for administration of a sobriety test as stated by the officer. This information will be invaluable to both you and your attorney in the course of the subsequent legal proceedings.
Defending Yourself With the Help of an Attorney
It is imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately following any incident or arrest that involves an elevated blood alcohol level or a charge of driving while intoxicated. A DWI charge is prosecuted by the civil and criminal courts, and the consequences of a guilty decision vary depending on the age and previous record of the defendant.
In addition to the danger that an excessive blood alcohol level can impose upon both you and the public, a DWI charge can result in the imposition of significant levies and restriction of your civil liberties. New fees have been added to the initial penalties and court costs involved with driving while intoxicated, and these are imposed on a yearly basis for three years following the offense. Failure to pay such fines is punishable by garnishment, loss of license and, in extreme cases of non-payment, incarceration.
An attorney will know how best to approach your specific case and argue for leeway that may be available under the particulars of the law. As court sympathy tends to drop dramatically after one's first infraction, going it alone is not a feasible option if you are brought to trial as a repeat offender.