If you have recently been arrested for DWI (driving while intoxicated) in Texas, you may believe all hope is lost. This is not the case! A skilled DWI attorney is trained to recognize defenses that may work on your behalf.
To decide which defenses apply to your drunk-driving case, your attorney must first look at the evidence that is produced by the police department. Your attorney will also interview witnesses who may testify on your behalf.
Your attorney may use a Driving Observation Defense. During a trial, the prosecution normally relies on the arresting officer’s testimony about how the defendant was driving. The officer may note that the driver was going very slow, weaving from one side of the road to the other, crossing the center line, running red lights, or hesitating to go through green lights.
Your defense attorney will argue that there could be other reasons for these driving behaviors, and it had nothing to do with being impaired or not.
Your officer may also use a Behavior Observation Defense. Again, the officer may testify about the defendant’s appearance and behavior after being pulled over. Some signs that the officer may look for include: slurred speech, stumbling, bloodshot eyes, and pupil enlargement.
Your attorney will then point out that there are many other factors that could lead to these signs such as: allergies, lack of sleep, stress, medications, nervousness, or physical impairments.
If you were arrested for DWI, you probably took a Field Sobriety Test. These tests are used to measure a person’s mental and physical alertness. As with the officer observations, these tests are highly subjective. Lack of sleep, medications, and physical problems will make it harder to pass these tests.
Your attorney may ask the arresting officer if he or she asked you if you had any physical problems before administering the test. Your attorney may even point out to the jury that many people, even in the best of circumstance, have problems taking these tests.
If you have been pulled over for DWI, you were probably also asked to take a breath test. This test is used to determine your BAC (blood alcohol content). In Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or higher.
If the machine is not maintained properly or calibrated, the results may be false. The machine may also give false results based on food consumption and other substances that may register as alcohol (i.e., mouth wash or breath mints).
Your attorney can subpoena police records on how the breath machine works, as well as request information regarding when it was last maintained and calibrated. Your attorney may also bring in an expert to testify that the particular machine used in your case is known to malfunction.