All states treat drunk driving as a chargeable offense in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents on the road. A DUI charge carries stiff penalties, so drivers in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, may want to fight the charges. There are several common defenses to use.
Overview of Texas DUI
A drunk driver can face two charges in Texas: driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. A first DUI counts as a Class B misdemeanor. This often applies to drivers under 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system.
A DWI is a Class C misdemeanor offense commonly given to drivers 21 and older with a BAC of 0.08 or more. The driver may get charged even if the BAC, or blood alcohol content, is below 0.08 if they show impairment because of drugs or alcohol.
Defenses to DUI/DWI
Some officers may administer a breath test to check BAC, but the devices aren’t always accurate. The defense can argue the driver had a condition that skewed results or that the device hasn’t been calibrated or checked for accuracy.
A blood test is more accurate, but improper handling by an untrained technician or improper storage can cause errors. Another defense to test results is rising BAC, which means the BAC was below the limit when the driver was in control of the vehicle before it went up later.
The law prohibits officers from stopping vehicles without reasonable suspicion to pull them over. This means the officer needs to have witnessed a traffic infraction, such as running a red light, that could indicate intoxication. They also need probable cause, or evidence of DUI, to make arrests; the absence of both could dismiss the case.
A DWI charge can carry serious consequences but only if it results in a conviction. The defendant may be able to bring up doubt in court with a valid defense.