Complexity of DWI Laws
Intoxicated driving laws are complex and ever-changing. Their application depends on a wide variety of circumstances – and much like fingerprints – no two cases are ever alike. Houston Criminal Defense attorneys have made some interesting observations on the broad topic of ‘driving under the influence’ in general. What follows are some of the more engaging thoughts.
- Depending on who is offering the explanation – the proliferation of DWI laws at the local, state and federal level can be traced either to increased safety concerns for innocent drivers or revenue enhancement for the various municipalities that have their fingers in the ‘pie’.
- Our justice systems allow for the immediate discretion of a police officer in determining and making an arrest for suspected intoxicated driving. That means that even if an individual goes through the exercise of a sobriety and/or breathalyzer and passes it – the officer can still make an arrest based on their observations and judgment of the person’s appearance of ‘drunkenness’.
- If an individual is taken to the hospital to determine their blood alcohol content level – a blood test is used instead of a breathalyzer. Many defense attorneys find that ‘interesting’ (to say the least) and are quick to note that blood test results are used in lieu of breathalyzers because the latter are generally unreliable.
- Houston DWI defense attorneys have good advice for avoiding a DWI arrest. First, avoid areas that are notorious for DWI stops. Too, stay abreast of sobriety checkpoints (which are advertised in the various mediums well in advance). It’s probably best not to drink and drive late at night because most police have time on their hands – and what better way to spend it than stopping someone for suspected intoxicated driving.
- Drinking and driving IS NOT illegal. Restaurants and bars are filled with people who stop for a beer or have a glass of wine with dinner. For the most part – this does not make the individual
‘drunk’ or in any way incapacitate their driving ability or judgment. The phrase coined for this type of alcohol consumption is ‘social drinking’ (not alcoholism) and the majority of adults make responsible decisions about drinking and driving.
- Any defense attorney will advise an individual who has been pulled over by the police to BE POLITE. Rudeness will only create a contentious situation and cause the officer to be inclined to view the ‘facts’ unfavorably for you. While this may seem unfair – it is probably more common than the average citizen would like to believe.
- Perhaps the number one piece of advice (free) that a defense attorney would give the general public is ‘do not incriminate yourself’. Many times when an officer pulls an individual over he or she allows the person to ‘tell on themselves’. Offering such common phrases as – ‘I only had one or two beers’ – opens the door for the officer to ‘probe’. You are not ‘required’ to give a detailed accounting of your whereabouts or activities (this is America, after all).