DWI has become a political crime and even though advocacy groups will not admit it, we are quickly moving towards a zero tolerance for alcohol. At one point, the legal limit for driving after drinking was .15 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of blood. Then concerned parties got together and, with no empirical research, decided that .10 was a more proper level. This was the number for years and then, at the insistence of activist groups, the federal government became involved. It is like a camel poking his nose under a tent. . . . before long, the camel takes over the tent.
Using the same method of blackmail as when seat belt laws became mandatory, the federal government set a deadline and told the States they must reduce the level for DWI to .08 or they would lose their federal highway money. There were no new empirical studies, just tremendous political pressure from advocacy groups, and it became law. Now every State has capitulated and .08 is the law of the land. Additionally, in September 2011, Texas elevated the punishment range for DWI from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor if the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is found to be 0.15 or more at the time of the analysis. There is no exception to contest the reliability of the test result short of taking the case to trial for a Not Guilty. Texas has also enhanced the punishment for Intoxication Assault from a Third Degree Felony to a Second Degree Felony if the person injured suffered brain damage and is in a persistent vegetative state.
There have been recent national media campaigns saying, “You drink, you drive, you go to jail” and “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” Although your tax dollars pay for these ads and they become ingrained in people’s minds, it is not a correct statement of the law. It is a form of brainwashing and jury manipulation. If a lie is repeated often enough without being challenged, it is accepted as being true; including potential jurors who judge us.
Regretfully, the police have become indoctrinated by these campaigns and if you are stopped for any reason while driving and have an odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath or in your car, the odds are that you will go to jail. This is NOT what the law states but it is the reality of the world in which we now live. In fact, the head of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has been quoted saying if you are stopped and smell of alcohol, you will be arrested!!! Arrested for smelling like alcohol! This is a perverse injustice but you may be forced to argue the point in court, in front of indoctrinated jurors.
Knowing the risk you face, it is in your best interest to have a good understanding of the law in Texas as it applies to DWI. This is not a legal treatise and should not be relied upon as legal authority. This book is purposely written in everyday language so you can quickly use the information in a practical manner and make informed decisions.
A word of caution if we may, this is not intended as a do-it-yourself manual. There is just enough information contained to allow you to be dangerous to yourself. As they would say on television, “Don’t try this at home”. There is no substitute for having a competent, experienced and well trained DWI attorney representing you if you are charged with an alcohol offense.
As you will see in the next pages, we have invested countless hours traveling throughout the United States to train in every aspect of DWI defense. We have each invested well over $100,000 in this training and continue to invest in our training each year. As such, we are on the leading edge of DWI defense in Texas.
Relax and enjoy what is ahead. It is written in a style that allows you to move to selected chapters that are of the most interest to you. You do not have to read the entire book to benefit from its contents although we hope you will.