Statutory requirements and strict protocols exist to protect the rights of individuals accused of DWI. Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in the invalidity of your arrest, blood alcohol content testing, and other evidence. Reach out to a skilled defense attorney for advice about how the statutory requirements in Dallas DWI cases are applicable to your situation.
Statutory Requirements for DWI Charges
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, the criminal offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) contains several distinct elements. These elements include:
- The person must be intoxicated
- The person must be operating a motor vehicle
- The person must be driving in a public place
To meet the definition of “intoxicated,” individuals must either:
- Lack the standard mental or physical capacity due to the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of more than one substance, or
- Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher
The state must have clear evidence of each of these elements to successfully prosecute individuals for DWI. While evidence may be stronger a case relying on BAC than in a case relying on a lack of mental or physical capacity, there also are circumstances in which BAC test results may be inaccurate. In any situation, there may be ways for a Dallas attorney to show that prosecutors failed to meet the statutory requirements needed to secure a DWI conviction.
The Statutory Warning in Dallas DWI Arrests
If law enforcement officers have reasonable suspicions that individuals are driving while intoxicated, they must continue to follow statutory procedures. Once an officer has decided to arrest someone, they must read the statutory warning and give the accused a copy of the notice in writing. This warning consists of the following elements:
- They are making an arrest according to the Texas Penal Code or the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code
- They are requesting that the arrested individual give a breath or blood sample
- An explanation of the consequences of submitting or refusing to submit to a breath or blood test
As this is one of the statutory requirements in Dallas DWI cases, legal counsel is likely to ask whether individuals recall receiving written and oral notification of the warning. Failure to adequately provide this warning could result in evidentiary problems in prosecuting the case.
Chemical Testing in Dallas DWI Cases
If individuals are over the age of 21, they must submit to chemical testing upon request by law enforcement or face inevitable consequences under the Texas implied consent law. Implied consent means that drivers agree to submit to testing when they receive their licenses.
Whether individuals complete a breath or blood test or refuse the test altogether, law enforcement officers will confiscate their driver’s license, provide them with a notice of suspension, and give them a temporary driving permit. This is standard protocol in Dallas DWI cases.
Discuss Your Case with a Dedicated Dallas Attorney
The state must meet all required statutory elements to convict individuals for DWI. When they fail to do so, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to argue that that law enforcement officers failed to meet the statutory requirements in a Dallas DWI case.
The penalties for driving while intoxicated can be harsh and have a serious impact on your future. For help protecting your rights, reach out to a skilled attorney today and schedule a consultation.