Q: Can I be arrested for DWI if my blood alcohol level is under the legal limit?
Being charged with DWI in Texas is a frightening experience with potentially serious consequences. It’s important to have a legal team that believes people are innocent until proven guilty and is ready to mount an aggressive defense.
In order to have the best chance at avoiding a conviction or negotiating the most favorable outcome possible under the circumstances, many of the accused seek legal counsel as soon as possible after their arrest. Often, they’ll hire a Texas criminal defense attorney that’s board-certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Many people don’t realize that they can be arrested in Texas for DWI even when their blood alcohol concentration, or “BAC”, does not meet or exceed the legal limit of 0.08%. The law says “loss of normal use of mental or physical faculties.” If a driver exhibits evidence of intoxication such as slurred speech, alcohol-smelling breath, impaired motor coordination, or has an open alcoholic beverage container, they may be arrested even if their blood alcohol level is under the legal limit.
A DWI conviction in Texas can include penalties such as fines, driver’s license suspension or revocation, community service, mandated DWI education, and/or installation of an ignition interlock device on the person’s vehicle–not to mention an increase in car insurance premiums and reputation damage.
In certain special circumstances, DWI conviction penalties are escalated such as when there is a prior DWI conviction or when another traffic violation—such as speeding—was allegedly committed at the time of the DWI. Serious fines and/or jail time are also possible if convicted of driving under the influence with a passenger under the age of 15 or if someone was injured or killed in the accident.
Recently, a pair of twin brothers driving separate cars were both arrested on charges of DWI—one with a minor in the car and the other for unlawful carry of a weapon. Reportedly, one brother was rear-ended by the other when he tried to stop upon approaching a prior accident in the road under police investigation. The brothers’ crash reportedly sent one brother’s truck into a police car, injuring the officer inside as well as another officer who was injured outside the vehicle. Due to the special circumstances, the pair could face escalated penalties, if convicted.
Contact the Benjamin Law Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been charged or expects to be charged with DWI or any other criminal offense, the Benjamin Law Firm can help you. Contact us today for a consultation.
From our office in El Paso, we serve clients throughout Texas in all aspects of criminal defense law, civil litigation, and aviation law in areas including but not limited to El Paso County, Las Cruces, Odessa, and Midland.