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Potential defenses to DWIs in Texas

| Jul 17, 2020 | Firm News

There are many reasons that people drink alcohol in Texas and it can be a great way to relax or enjoy some time with friends and family. However, it is important that people consume alcohol responsibly and if they have too much to drink people need to make sure they make smart decisions. This includes making sure that they do not get behind the wheel and drive. If people do drink too much and drive, they could be charged and potentially convicted of a DWI.

DWIs can result in serious consequences, if people are convicted, but like any other crime people are innocent until proven guilty. There a many different potential defenses to a DWI and people who are charged with a DWI may be able to avoid a conviction. Potential defenses include:

  • Illegal stop – the police must have a valid reason to stop a vehicle in the first place. If they do not have a valid reason all evidence gathered after the stop could be suppressed. Also, police need a valid reason to expand the stop to do field sobriety testing. For example, if people are stopped for speeding, police need additional information that the driver is consuming alcohol and the testing cannot be based just on the fact that the driver was speeding.
  • Field Sobriety Testing – People may be familiar with the field sobriety tests such as standing on one leg, following the officer’s finger with their eyes and walking on a line, but they may not know what the police are looking for while the driver is completing the test. Officers must give proper instructions and drivers must actually complete the tests improperly. Sometimes officers do not properly instruct or exaggerate mistakes the driver makes. Drivers may be able to challenge the test results.
  • Breathalyzer Results – Officers give tests both on the road and the official tests at the station. Police need to administer the tests correctly and also ensure that the tests are not giving false negatives due to burping or vomiting.
  • Chain of Command – This is to ensure that there are proper records of everyone who handled a blood or urine sample to ensure that the test was not contaminated. If the records are incomplete the driver may have a defense.

These are just examples of common defenses though. Each stop and arrest is unique though and there could be other defenses depending on the circumstances. It is important that people in Texas understand their rights after a DWI arrest. There could be defenses available to them. Experienced attorneys understand these potential defenses and consulting with one may be beneficial.