Driving While Intoxicated
Many of us have been faced with the situation of going out for drinks and then having to drive home afterwards. This could potentially be a very unfortunate and sometimes dangerous predicament. Unfortunate because you could easily be pulled over and charged with driving while intoxicated, dangerous because you could be putting your life and the drivers around you at risk.
My best advice is to avoid situations where you will have to drink and drive, but if you are ever pulled over after having one drink or several drinks, these are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
1. A common misconception is that you have to be drunk in order to get a DWI. In Texas you do not have to be drunk in order to establish intoxication for the purposes of a DWI. The most common way to prove DWI is showing that an individual’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more. For some individuals having one drink can result in them exceeding the legal limit.
2. When being pulled over, stop right away or when you are able to make a safe stop. Do not attempt to continue driving as this could lead to additional criminal charges.
3. Cooperate with the officer. Be polite, do not attempt to argue or challenge the officer. You are being recorded and your actions could be used against you in court.
4. Avoid answering questions such as, “How much have you had to drink?”. You have the right to remain silent, try and say as little as possible during your arrest and ask for an attorney; your statements may be used against you in court.
5. You have the right to refuse to partake in any field sobriety tests, such as: walking in a straight line, reciting the alphabets, etc.
6. You have the right to decline a breathalyzer test. Breath testing is often found to be unreliable and can be challenged in court. If you refuse a breath test, the officer must obtain a warrant to draw blood.