Did you know that around 1.5 million Americans face a DWI arrest each year?
Getting arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is never a pleasant experience. However, knowing your rights can help you take control of the situation.
In the sections below, we will explain to you the key rights you need to know about if you are ever arrested for or charged with a drunken driving offense in Texas.
That way, you will be able to act with confidence in what can be a confusing and stressful situation. Read on to learn more.
What is a DWI?
DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. A person is intoxicated by law if their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is .08 percent or more.
Intoxication is also defined as the noticeable presence of alcohol or other substances in the body that impair one’s ability to use their normal mental or physical faculties.
When you get arrested, no matter the offense, you have certain rights under the Constitution and law. These protections are known as Miranda rights or the Miranda warning.
Following the Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona in 1966, arresting officers are required by law to read the suspect these rights at the time of the arrest. If they fail to do so, the arrest is unlawful and your case could be thrown out.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
Yes, you can. You are not legally obligated to submit to a roadside breathalyzer or sobriety test in the state of Texas.
However, this refusal does not come without consequences. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended. From there, you’ll have 15 days to ask for a hearing. You will forfeit your right to a hearing if you don’t ask for one within this timeframe.
Although there are penalties for refusing a breathalyzer or a blood test, do note that it’s harder for the prosecutor to actually convict you without this evidence.
Do I Have To Answer Questions?
No. You have a Constitutionally protected right to legal representation when talking to law enforcement.
To quote the Miranda Rights, ‘Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.’ With this in mind, it’s best to avoid talking to the police at all until you’ve spoken with your lawyer.
A competent DWI lawyer has the knowledge and experience to see through the police’s attempt to make a suspect incriminate themselves. Let them do the talking and protect your rights with silence.
DWI in Texas: Hire a Lawyer Now
A DWI arrest is a serious matter that can have lasting effects and consequences if handled improperly. If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Texas, it’s crucial that you find effective legal representation immediately.
Here at Deandra Grant Law, we’re on hand to guide you through the entire process and defend your justice at each stage.
We’ve got offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Allen, and Austin, so contact us today for a consultation.