Dwi facts*

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A police officer can follow you as you drive away from a restaurant or bar, stop you for not using your turn signal, and decide to arrest you because you have alcohol on your breath.

A police officer can follow you down your neighborhood street, and arrest you in your driveway if s/he observes a traffic violation, and then decides that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

You have the right to remain silent and, to refuse to answer any questions and, to perform any tests that the officer asks you to perform, including a breath test or blood test. **

If you are detained or arrested on suspicion of DWI, and you refuse to provide a breath or blood specimen when requested by the police, or you do provide either, and the result is greater than 0.08, your driver’s license may be suspended from 90 to 180 days.

You then have 15 days to request a hearing from the Department of Public Safety to challenge whether your driver’s license should be suspended.

Driving While Intoxicated does not mean that an officer can arrest you only because s/he is suspicious that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. If you reek of Pot, or have recently taken a narcotic, whether prescribed or not, and the police are suspicious, you are subject to arrest and charges for DWI. The officer may request that you provide a blood sample, and you may refuse. However s/he can then get a warrant from a judge to have your blood drawn,even if you do not consent.

If you are arrested for a DWI, and there is a child less than 15 years old in the vehicle, the police DO NOT have to get a warrant to draw your blood to check your blood alcohol level, even if you do not give consent.

If you are arrested for a DWI and you have been convicted twice before for DWI, the police DO NOT have to get a warrant to draw your blood to check your blood alcohol level, even if you do not consent.

If you have a traffic accident, and the person driving the other vehicle is injured, or dies, and the police suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol or a drug, the police ARE NOT required to get a warrant to draw your blood, even if you do not consent.

The police can restrain you or use other force to obtain a blood sample, if you are arrested under the above scenarios, or if they get a warrant, and you refuse to cooperate with them.

If you enter into a plea agreement with the state, and you plead guilty to DWI, the conviction will be on your record FOREVER, even if you successfully complete probation. (The only exception to this would be if the Governor of Texas grants you a pardon for the DWI conviction)

A first conviction for Driving While Intoxicated is a Class B Misdemeanor, and carries a range of punishment of between three days and six months in county jail, and a fine of $2,000.

A first conviction for Driving While Intoxicated where it is proved that you have an open container in the vehicle increases the minimum county jail time to six days.

A second conviction for Driving While Intoxicated is a Class A Misdemeanor, and carries a range of punishment between 30 days and one year in county jail, and a fine of up to $4,000.

A third conviction for Driving While Intoxicated is a third degree felony, and carries a range of punishment of between 2 and 10 years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections, and a fine of up to $10,000.

A conviction for DWI with a child passenger under 15 is a state jail felony, and carries a range of punishment of six months to two years in a state jail facility, and a fine of up to $10,000.

A conviction for DWI where it is proven that the intoxicated driver causes an accident, and the other driver or a passenger is seriously injured (Intoxication Assault) is a third degree felony, and carries a range of punishment of between 2 and 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections, and a $10,000 fine. This includes driving an automobile, watercraft, aircraft, and an amusement ride.

A conviction for DWI where it is proven that the intoxicated driver causes the death of another person, whether by accident or mistake (Intoxication Manslaughter) is a second degree felony, and carries a range of punishment of between 2 and 20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections. If the person who dies is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services person, the offense is a first degree felony.

Bottom Line: CONTACT CLAY NOW to get the advice and advocacy that you need in order to challenge your DWI charges.

*This list is not all inclusive, and does not represent or convey legal advice, or an agreement for legal representation

**This right is limited, and conditioned upon the other scenarios described, where other facts or circumstances are an exception to this rule.