After more than a year wait, prosecutors have finally dropped the drunk driving charges pending against a Texas man who registered an alcohol concentration of only 0.00 percent at the time of arrest. And, although it may seem unbelievable for a Texas driver to be charged with driving while intoxicated after blowing the lowest possible breathalyzer reading, what is even more surprising is the fact the police officials continue to defend the initial arrest.
This particular legal battle stems from an incident dating back to January 2013, in which police pulled over the Texas man for allegedly running a stop sign. Following the stop, police subjected the man to a full barrage of sobriety and breath tests. And, even though the man admitted to consuming one drink that night, his voluntary breath test indicated that his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.00 percent – meaning any impact the one drink may have had on his system was long gone.
Additionally, in order to prove he was sober, the man told police that they could take a blood sample as well. Interestingly, these blood tests also came back negative for the presence of all seven drugs tested.
However, police officials are defending their take-no-chances DWI arrest policy claiming it is in the interest of public safety. Under this policy, if the police believe a driver is impaired – regardless of whether a breath test indicates a BAC well below the legal limit of 0.08 percent – he or she will be arrested. Unfortunately, though, this policy not only leads to situations in which innocent people have to spend the day in jail following an unsubstantiated DWI arrest, but also a high 30 percent DWI dismissal rate.
How can you get a Texas DWI if under the legal limit of 0.08?
While it is well known that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated in Texas, many motorists may be surprised to discover that there are several ways to be charged with this crime. For instance, Texas law defines “intoxicated” to mean either having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, or “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to alcohol or drug consumption.
Essentially, this means that even when a driver has a BAC well below 0.08 percent, police can still place the driver under arrest if they believe alcohol or drugs has impaired the driver’s mental or physical faculties. However, in order to support a conviction under this option, police must be able to point to evidence that indicates intoxication, such as erratic driver, slurred speech, lack of coordination or blood-shot eyes. The failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the charges.
If you are currently facing Texas DWI charges, it is best to seek the counsel of an experienced DWI defense attorney. A skilled criminal defense attorney can review the circumstances of your arrest and develop the best possible legal defense.