Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated is called driving while under the influence, commonly abbreviated as DWI. Over the past few decades, the laws concerning this offense have undergone numerous changes. In certain parts of the country, the legal repercussions associated with such charges have become very strict. The best course of action for anyone who needs clarification about these laws and regulations, or who has been charged with this offense, is to seek the advice of an Austin DWI lawyer.
Facts About Intoxication
If a policeman is completing a routine traffic stop and thinks that a motorist may be intoxicated, the officer can administer a breathalyzer test. He or she may also ask the driver to submit to a blood alcohol content–BAC–test, which involves either a urinalysis or an actual blood test. Citizens can refuse to take such tests; however, in most cases they will still be arrested.
As its name indicates, a breathalyzer is a test designed to measure a person’s blood alcohol content. This test is more convenient than drawing blood or submitting the person to a urinalysis, but it is not quite as accurate. It is often used as a field sobriety test.
Some drivers erroneously believe that their BAC level depends on how many drinks they had throughout the evening, but this is not always true. The number of alcoholic drinks a person consumes in any 24-hour period cannot be used as a determining factor concerning whether or not he or she is sober enough to drive. There are many other factors that play a role in an individual’s level of intoxication.
For instance, a driver’s weight greatly affects how fast he or she becomes impaired by alcoholic beverages. A 120 pound female may begin feeling tipsy after only one or two mixed drinks or beers. A man weighing over 200 pounds may be able to have five or six before feeling any effects at all. Whether or not the drinks are consumed on an empty or full stomach is also a factor. Alcohol often has a more potent effect if one is drinking on an empty stomach.
Some motorists start driving home quite innocently because they do not feel in the least impaired, and are completely unaware that their blood alcohol level may be well beyond limits set forth by the law. However, it is essential for drivers to realize that if they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and a breathalyzer test indicates that they are over the legal limit, a DWI charge will likely ensue.
Benefits of Hiring an Austin DWI Lawyer
It is never wise to attempt to handle such a situation without the help of a legal professional. The advantages associated with seeking assistance from qualified Austin DWI Lawyers are numerous. Among the greatest benefits is the peace of mind this action will bring to the motorist who is faced with this type of situation. When the person’s mind is set at ease, he or she can offer better responses to the questions that will be asked, and provide answers based on the attorney’s advice, thus averting the worst possible outcome.
In addition, taking action of this kind guarantees the proper preservation of all essential evidence. Lawyers have undergone training that helps them notice things that most individuals would not, which is extremely helpful if the motorist’s case goes to trial.
For instance, in certain jurisdictions, blood alcohol level tests are mandatory, and in specific cases, drunk driving arrests are videotaped by equipment in the arresting officer’s car.
A knowledgeable attorney typically cites certain evidence as inappropriate or unconstitutional, as well as demand that other types of evidence be preserved. Depending on the nature of the case, some evidence must be eliminated in order to ensure that the motorist has a fair trial if his or her case goes to court.
An experienced legal professional will also immediately interview any witnesses who can offer details that may ultimately benefit the client. Such information is helpful if criminal charges are brought against the motorist, as the statements collected by the lawyer from pertinent witnesses may sway the ruling in the driver’s favor. If there are defense witnesses who may be able to support the client’s case, it is essential to obtain their statements in a timely manner, and a DWI attorney will make sure that this task is efficiently completed.
Negative Effects of DWI Charges
It can negatively affect a person’s life to have a DWI charge on his or her record. It may interfere with his or her ability to secure employment, and once the information becomes public it can also be a significant source of embarrassment. Additionally, the motorist may be unable to pay steep fines and fees ordered by the presiding judge. Another consequence is the loss of the person’s license for a certain length of time, which can create a serious problem if the individual must drive to work.
Austin DWI Lawyers For Complex Cases
It is also imperative to seek the advice of an Austin DWI lawyer if one has been arrested on the second or third offense of drunk driving. In most states, including Texas, laws become much stricter for repeat offenders. For this reason, it is unwise for anyone in this situation to proceed without the advice of an experienced attorney.
Austin DWI lawyers possess the skills and experience to assist clients who are dealing with drunk driving charges, whether it is their first offense or they have been arrested for such activity before. Therefore, it is always in the driver’s best interest to seek professional advice immediately after being arrested or charged with such a crime.