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Denton County DWI defense lawyerIn Texas, the charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are considered very seriously by the courts, and penalties for a conviction are significant. One of the most common ways drivers are arrested for DWI is being stopped by some other traffic violation when the officer suspects they have been drinking. The officer will then proceed with a breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests, which the driver will fail.

While the state of Texas does require drivers to submit to a breathalyzer test (or face serious consequences for refusing), the law does not require drivers to submit to field sobriety tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

There are several types of field sobriety tests that law enforcement use when they suspect a driver has been drinking:

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Denton DWI defense attorneyDriving while intoxicated (DWI), whether it is due to alcohol, prescription medications, or any illegal substance, is a serious matter in Texas. The state has some of the harshest DWI penalties in the country, which include heavy fines, lengthy driver’s license suspensions, and potential mandatory minimum jail sentences. If you are arrested and charged with any type of DWI, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney working on your case. While you may think you are saving yourself money and can defend these charges on your own, these charges can have a significant impact on both your personal and professional life.

DWI Defined Under Texas Law

Under the Texas law, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. Regular motor vehicle drivers can be charged with a DWI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registers .08 percent or higher.

For commercial vehicle operators, including tractor-trailer, taxi, and ridesharing drivers, a BAC of .04 percent or higher will result in a DWI charge. For those under the age of 21, any amount of alcohol is illegal under the state’s Zero Tolerance policy.

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Drunk driving is a national concern every day of the year, but arrests tend to spike around the holidays. And even though most celebrations will look a bit different this year due to COVID-19, the winter holidays and New Year’s Eve celebrations will still cause an increase in binge drinking, alcohol-related violence, and DWI arrests.

Driving While Intoxicated During the Winter Holidays

Drunk Driving in Texas — Fast Facts

  • Approximately 10.22% of Texas residents have been involved in a drunk driving crash at some point in their lives.
  • More than 24% of Texas drivers who have driven drunk have been charged with a DWI or DUI.
  • Approximately 14% of Texas drivers who have driven drunk have served jail time for doing so.
  • On average, drivers with a DWI on their record can expect to pay an extra $569 annually in insurance premiums.
  • Approximately 36.8% of Texas residents have been a passenger in a car with an impaired driver.

Why Drunk Driving Arrests Spike Around the Holiday Season

Drunk driving can happen at any time and any day, but it’s more prevalent during the holidays because:

  • People are drinking more often. During a typical week in the spring, most people only enjoy a few drinks on the weekend. However with holiday celebrations in full swing throughout much of November into January, people are simply drinking more often.
  • Police are hypervigilant. Police know that the holidays are a time when drinking and driving is more prevalent, so they’re looking for any traffic violation that warrants being pulled over. Law enforcement agencies are also more likely to set up DUI checkpoints between Thanksgiving and the first week of January.

Arrested for a DWI in Texas? Call Marsala Law Group

Though drunk driving is 100% preventable, we understand that accidents happen and people occasionally make poor judgment calls. A DWI arrest doesn’t have to impact the rest of your life or cost you thousands. At Sub:BusinessName}, we’ll work tirelessly to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether.

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