The first years of the car as a mode of transportation were met with some “road bumps,” including the issue of driver intoxication. Federal and state laws were put in place over the years, although there was no clear way to determine how intoxicated a driver was until later technological advances led to the measurement of blood alcohol content level. Every state now has a set BAC level, after which it becomes a state criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle. If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, do not hesitate to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney in Houston. Also, driving under the influence of drugs, or DUID in Texas is a violation of the law that can result in severe penalties. Even if you have a prescription for the drug, it is illegal and punishable to be “under the influence” of the drug while driving.
Texas, like all states, imposes strict laws governing the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Specifically, “driving while intoxicated” is included in the Texas Penal Code as an offense which occurs when a person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. DWI offenses are Class B misdemeanors, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. This punishment range can reach felony levels for repeat offenders, or other outside circumstances, such as having a child passenger in the car at the time of arrest. Intoxication manslaughter (where someone dies in an accident when you are under the influence) is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Texas has attempted to crack down on drunk driving throughout the state with “no-refusal” weekends, during which a driver must submit to a blood test if they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. These weekends are becoming more common throughout the state and have resulted in numerous arrests. While the constitutionality of these weekends has been challenged, they remain in practice and it is important to remain vigilant.
The majority of the prosecution’s case in all DWI cases in Houston, involve the facts related by the arresting officer. Therefore, if your arrest rested on the officer’s suspicion (and not concrete evidence) you were operating the motor vehicle while intoxicated, your case could be dismissed if evidence does not actually exist to prove you were operating the vehicle. The court must have concrete proof you were operating a motor vehicle at the time of your arrest and had a blood alcohol content greater than .08 or that you were impaired by the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system. Many officers additionally rely on faulty equipment in obtaining a blood alcohol test result greater than .08, which can be contested in court. The experienced DWI defense attorneys are able to assist you in developing your defense after reviewing the facts and circumstances of your case. While DWI arrests are some of the most common criminal arrests and result in relatively mild punishment, they cannot be ignored. DWI convictions can have consequences outside the convictions, such as immigration consequences, and it is therefore important to defend your current DWI arrest with a competent and qualified Houston DWI defense lawyer For example, Canada routinely denies entry to people from the United States having DWI or DUI convictions.
Arrest is a scary time for anyone and often involves immediate transport to the county jail, where you will most likely be forced to wait in a crowded cell for hours before gaining the ability to post bail. However, a DWI arrest is not yet a conviction, and it is therefore important to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney in Houston as soon as possible after your arrest. The trial date and related court provisions move along quicker than you would expect, and it is therefore important to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney shortly after your arrest. Mary E. Conn is an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney who has assisted numerous clients in formulating their DWI defense. Contact us out our Houston offices today on (713) 357-4190 for your initial free consultation.