Three Ways to Get Pulled Over For a DWI

Before an officer can utter the six words we all hate to hear (please step out of the car), the officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver is intoxicated. Under Terry v. Ohio, this standard is a mixture of “specific articulable facts” and the officer’s subjective interpretation of those facts. Observed Activity… Read more »

What To Expect After A First DWI Arrest

Largely because alcohol-related crashes are still a hot-button political issue and DWI offenses are good moneymakers for the government, Greater Houston is well-known throughout the state for its aggressive DWI arrest and prosecution policies. According to one study, roughly half of Harris County probationers were convicted of an alcohol-related offense, mostly a first DWI. Despite… Read more »

Thoughts On Felony And Enhanced DWIs

James Bond novelist Ian Fleming once wrote that “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, and three times is enemy action.” That same idea basically applies to felony DWIs in Texas, except in this case, the “enemy” is not an outside force, but a struggle with alcohol. After all, if a person is married and divorced… Read more »

How Does A STEP Campaign Affect Trial Strategy?

In a previous post, we looked at formal DWI checkpoints. As we discussed, mostly due to budget cuts, there are fewer and fewer checkpoints in Harris County except on high drinking-and-driving holidays. So, many local law enforcement agencies rely on less expensive, and also less regulated, informal checkpoints. Publishing heiress Patty Hearst, who is arguably… Read more »

Facts About A Second DWI

One of the most unsettling DWI cases of the last few years, which fortunately is not binding in Texas, may one day have a significant impact on subsequent DWIs. In Commonwealth v. Diehl, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court allowed prosecutors to use the defendant’s prior DWI as evidence that he disregarded the risks inherent in drinking… Read more »

To Use or Refuse a Breathalyzer

Many people ask whether they should provide a BAC chemical sample or refuse to comply with this request, and there are two very legitimate sides to this argument. Statistics vary by county, but the conviction rate in breath test cases is usually about 85 percent and 45 percent in refusal cases. So, many argue, taking… Read more »