Keys in front of beer glass on a bar

State v. A.O.; Cause No. 247***; County Court 4; Brazoria County, Texas

Defense of charge: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Result: Misdemeanor Case Dismissed, Misdemeanor in Brazoria County, Texas

If you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.04 states that you can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated if you are operating a motor vehicle with a BAC or blood alcohol concentration at or over 0.08. Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas. You face the risk of an arrest any time you operate a motor vehicle in a public place while under the influence of “alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances.”

DWI as a Class B misdemeanor

Driving While Intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor in Texas. Under Texas’s law, a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000. However, if the BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, of the defendant, comes back at more than 0.15%, Texas law provides for enhanced penalties for drivers with BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) levels of 0.15 or more. DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or more is a class A misdemeanor in Texas.

DWI as a Class A Misdemeanor

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanor offense in Texas. Conviction of a Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in county jail.

In this case, my client was at a bar with friends, enjoying a night out. While my client was there, several police officers showed up at the bar. My client even bought the officers a few drinks. After my client left the bar, he accidentally went the wrong way down a two-lane road. There was road construction taking place that required several officers in the area my client was driving home. My client was immediately stopped and questioned by the police. They smelled alcohol, noticed bloodshot eyes, and asked my client if he was driving while intoxicated. Police officers requested he performs SFSTs or standard field sobriety tests.

Three tests are given as part of a standard field sobriety test: the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. Police officers are trained to look for several clues when they request a driver to submit to field sobriety testing. My client did not perform any tests.

This case was significant because my client worked at several oil refineries and had a TWIC card. TWIC cards are requirements put in place by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. They are used to identify workers who have the authorization to access secure maritime areas without an escort. TWIC itself stands for “Transportation Worker Identification Credential.”

Fortunately, the officer did not seize any breath or blood samples from my client. My client’s speech sounded slurred, he could not stand up straight and had red/bloodshot eyes in the video.

Through hard work and perseverance, I was able to get this case dismissed. At first, the prosecutor did not want to dismiss this case because of how intoxicated my client looked on video and because he was just leaving a bar. He was also observed drinking alcohol by one of the officers on the scene for the arrest.

We were prepared and ready to go to trial. This case was dismissed, and my client was able to get his life back.

If you have any questions about DWI defense in Texas, contact criminal defense attorney Ty Brock online or by phone: 713-899-3355.

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