How Is A DWI Defined In Texas State?
DWI or Driving While Intoxicated is defined as the operation of a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Intoxicated is defined as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, or greater, or as the loss of normal use of your mental or physical faculties.
What Are Some Common Mistakes That People Make In A DWI Case?
The common mistakes people make in a DWI case, are trying to talk their way out of it with law enforcement at the time of the arrest, because all those encounters are recorded, and the prosecution does see that. You have a tendency for people to say incriminating things both to the officer, and on phone calls they make from the jail. Usually, most folks will say incriminating comments once they are in the patrol car, because they do not realize this, but most patrol cars now have recording devices that are on constantly when somebody is placed in the back seat.
What Happens Following A DWI Stop In Texas?
Normally, after a stop, the officer will start by asking basic questions, where have you been, where are you going, what were you doing, where were you before, or what were you planning on doing when you got to the place you were going. They will ask you for your driver’s license, and your insurance. All of those seem like pretty innocent questions, but what they are doing is listening for your responses to see if you speak clearly, and watching to see if you can get your license and your insurance without any issues. They are looking to see if they see what wristbands you are wearing, and from what night clubs you attended, or if they smell an odor of alcoholic emanating from your breath or If they can see any open containers in the vehicle.
It is pretty common for them to ask you, “Have you been drinking? If so, where were you drinking at? How much did you have to drink? When did you start drinking? When was your last drink?” those types of things. Once they establish that pattern, they will ask you to step out of the vehicle, and at that point, perform a series of field sobriety tests.
Is It Mandatory For Someone To Perform The Field Sobriety Test?
No, you are not required to perform field sobriety tests, or take a roadside breath test. If you do take a roadside breath test, those results, are not admissible in court. It is, however, something that the officer can rely on when making their decision as to whether they believe you are intoxicated, and whether they should take you to jail. The field sobriety tests and your performance on those are admissible, as well as a refusal to do those is admissible in court, as long as the tests are performed correctly.
Now, if the officer gives you poor instructions, and he does not do what he is supposed to do, there is a possibility you can get those suppressed, but normally they are admissible in court. Those are things the officer asks you to do such as stand on one foot, walk a line, and follow the pen, or whatever it is with your eyes. They are looking at your physical performance with these tests, and can you physically do what they are asking. They are looking at your behavior, what are you doing, are you following instructions during this testing, because it is not just we want you to stand on one leg, one foot, or we want you to walk this line, it is we want you to get in this position while we give you the rest of the instructions. Can you stay in that position, and can you repeat the instructions back.
They are looking for those sorts of things as well. Normally, once they have finished the field sobriety tests, which then they will make a decision to arrest you, or let you go.
What Happens To My Driver’s License After I Am Charged With A DWI?
If you refuse a breath, or a blood test request by the police at the initial time of your arrest, your driver’s license is going to be suspended by DPS. You can appeal this process, and you are entitled to a hearing, but you have only fifteen days to ask for this hearing once you receive notice, so you need to act fast. The same thing happens if you fail the test. Let us say you take the test, but you come back with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than 0.08%. DPS is going to suspend your driver’s license. You are entitled to an administrative hearing on this as well, but you have to follow their guidelines for getting your hearing request in.
This is an administrative suspension, it does not matter if you are subsequently acquitted or if the case is dismissed. This is an administrative suspension for not taking the test, or for failing the test. It has nothing to do with a criminal charge. As far as a criminal charge goes, if convicted, you can end up getting your license suspended again.
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