Facing DWI charges in Texas can be frightening. However, several defenses might be available to you, even if you took a breath test that registered .08 or higher. Depending on the situation, you might get the charges reduced to reckless driving or dismissed entirely.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, penalties for a DWI include fines up to $10,000, jail time up to 10 years and loss of your driver’s license for up to two years. The punishment depends on a variety of factors, including the following:
- If this is your first or subsequent offense
- If you had a child passenger
- If you had an open container
Police can make a lawful traffic stop if reasonable suspicion of a law violation. Examples include erratic or improper lane changes and speeding. However, they cannot detain you for more than the routine traffic ticket without probable cause, despite the offense. The way officers handle the situation may determine which defense is appropriate for you.
Lack of probable cause
Officers may administer a breath test or field sobriety tests based on observable facts, including slurred speech, seeing an open container, bloodshot eyes and smelling alcohol. If no evidence points to unlawful activity, they cannot legally arrest you. Without probable cause, the prosecutor may drop the charges.
Inaccurate breath tests
DWI charges often stem from the breath test results administered at the time of the traffic stop. When not properly maintained and calibrated, the test results might be inaccurate. If the officer who administered the test did not receive the proper training, the court may disregard the test results.
If the police searched your person without probable cause or you have a medical condition that affects the breath or field sobriety tests, you may have additional defenses available to you. Your current record and history might help you avoid a DWI conviction, license suspension and increased insurance rates.