Archive for January, 2016

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Reminds Drivers That Traffic Stops Can Happen At Any Time

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Many DWI arrests happen at night, but it is important that drivers remember that there is a possibility that their vehicle could be stopped at any time of day. Law enforcement officials may appear to focus on the late evening hours when they look for potential DWI situations, and this apparent focus is reinforced by increased patrols at night, particularly on weekends. In reality, though, any vehicle stop at any time of day has the potential to turn into a DWI investigation.

Police in Jourdanton report that one third of the DWI arrests that they made last year occurred during the day. More specifically, officers report that thirty percent of their 2015 DWI arrests happened between two in the afternoon and eight in the evening. This statistic is unusual, because historically there were far fewer DWI arrests during those hours than there were in the late evening and early morning hours.

The increase in “daytime” DWI arrests in Jourdanton accompanies a thirty percent increase in the overall number of DWI arrests in that same area. Officers in Jourdanton and elsewhere also report making some DWI arrests at nine or ten in the morning, when many people would be finishing breakfast or having a mid-morning snack.

The important message for drivers is that law enforcement officers are thinking about and looking for drunk drivers all day long. This means that any traffic stop has the potential to turn into a DWI investigation. Fortunately, drivers can be prepared to navigate traffic stops in a way that reduces the chance that they will be investigated for DWI. For example, checking your vehicle on a regular basis for burnt out light bulbs, expired license plates, and other items that could attract unwanted attention and following the rules of the road reduce the likelihood that your vehicle will be pulled over.

Drivers should be aware that law enforcement officers, especially in areas near the Mexican border, tend to ask drivers more questions than the drivers are required by law to answer. If you are pulled over in Texas, you are required to present three things to the law enforcement officer who has stopped you – your driver’s license, your automobile insurance card, and your vehicle registration. It is essential that you remain as calm and polite as you can while you supply the required documentation. You can further protect yourself by answering as few questions as you possibly can, especially in regards to questions about where you have been, where you are going, and what you have been doing. You do not have to participate in field sobriety tests, and you may ask to speak with your attorney.

A traffic stop can happen at any time of day, and any traffic stop has the potential to become a DWI investigation. If you were arrested for DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Reminds Drivers That There is a Lot at Stake with a DWI

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

A Texas A&M basketball player was recently arrested and charged with DWI. The stop occurred after an officer noticed that the young man was driving without headlights. According to law enforcement, he exhibited signs of intoxication but was cooperative with their investigation. As you might imagine, this young man has a lot at stake in his DWI case, including his current and future athletic and academic plans. He was immediately placed on suspension, and he will meet with the athletic director to determine the course of action that he will take, in addition to going through the DWI case process in court. By working closely with his attorney and the other individuals that are involved in the various aspects of his life, this young driver can take action to keep his life going in the direction that he would like for it to go.

Each DWI defendant is different, because everyone has his or her own collection of things that are going on in their life, such as work, family, attending college, caring for friends or family who need assistance, or pursuing projects that interest them. A DWI arrest can put some or all of those things on hold, at least temporarily, and could affect the options that are available to that individual in the future.

As serious as DWI charges are, when a defendant chooses to retain a skilled DWI defense attorney, that attorney can help the defendant navigate their DWI case in a way that acknowledges what that individual’s priorities are at the time. For example, if a driver is arrested and charged with DWI, they may face license suspension. For some individuals, license suspension may not be a barrier to continuing to do the things that they want to do and need to do, especially if they live in an area where there are plenty of public transportation options. However, for other drivers, being unable to use their vehicle could cost them their job or their ability to fulfill important family responsibilities like transporting children to school and the other activities that they participate in. If this is the case, it is possible that an attorney could help the driver get back on the road quickly by installing an ignition interlock device or fulfilling other requirements that would enable them to use their vehicle at least some of the time.

A DWI arrest can make your life more complicated, at least for a while. With the skillful assistance of your attorney, you can make a plan of action that will enable you to continue pursuing your goals and doing the things that you need to do while pursuing resolution of your case. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, understands that every individual who is charged with DWI has unique priorities, and he can help you to take action to address yours. Please call our office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

 

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about Auto Brewery Syndrome

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

A DWI case from New York is getting nationwide attention because it involves a rare medical condition which causes the people who have it to become legally intoxicated after consuming ordinary food and beverages. Auto-brewery syndrome, or gut fermentation syndrome, as it is sometimes called, has only been diagnosed in fifty to one hundred individuals so far. The condition occurs when an individual has so much yeast in their intestinal tract that whatever they eat or drink is fermented into alcohol. It is possible that there are other people who are affected by the condition who are not yet aware that they have it.

This case started in the same manner as many other DWI cases do, with a traffic stop that led to an arrest after the defendant’s blood alcohol content registered as .33 percent on a Breathalyzer test. She also had some trouble with the field sobriety tests, but not nearly as much as one would expect her to have given her blood alcohol level at the time. Many people with a blood alcohol level of .33 would be falling down drunk, but because individuals with auto-brewery syndrome develop a high tolerance for elevated blood alcohol levels due to alcohol production in their bodies, the defendant was able to function in a close to normal manner.

When the defendant was arrested, her blood alcohol level was more than four times New York State’s legal limit. What’s more, the defendant had consumed alcoholic beverages earlier in the day. However, when the defendant and her husband told her attorney how many drinks she had consumed during the day and when she had consumed them, it did not seem as though her blood alcohol would have been anywhere near as high as it was at the time of her arrest. The defendant’s attorney did some research regarding possible causes of elevated blood alcohol, and in doing so he came upon a description of auto-brewery syndrome.

In order to prove that the defendant’s elevated blood alcohol level was caused by a medical condition and not by consuming alcoholic beverages, her attorney had to gather and present medical evidence to support her claim. One type of evidence that was presented were blood alcohol readings for the defendant that were taken on eighteen separate occasions subsequent to her arrest on days that she had not consumed alcohol. On nearly all of those occasions, the defendant’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit. Because the defendant had consumed alcohol on the day that she was arrested, a pharmacologist presented evidence that showed that the amount of alcohol that she had consumed at the time that she had consumed it would not result in a blood alcohol content of .33 at the time of her arrest if her body had metabolized the alcoholic beverages in the same manner as the body of a woman the same size as her who did not have auto-brewery syndrome. Fortunately for the defendant, the medical evidence presented a clear explanation of why her blood alcohol level was as high as it was when she was arrested, and the judge dismissed the charges against her.

Auto-brewery syndrome is a rare medical condition, so this case from New York is unlikely to help most DWI defendants. However, a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you present your best defense against DWI charges. Call the office of Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about the Consequences of Repeat Offenses

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Some drivers are charged with DWI once and then never drink and drive again. Other drivers get one DWI and are then later arrested for a second offense. Unfortunately, there are a few drivers who continue to drive under the influence of alcohol after a second, third, or even a fourth DWI.

One Texas driver was recently convicted of his tenth DWI after his twelfth DWI arrest. An officer stopped Ivy Ray Eberhardt after receiving a call regarding a reckless driver and subsequently observing Eberhardt’s minivan swerving all over the road. During the traffic stop, a bottle of whiskey was found in the minivan and Eberhardt admitted to having consumed a large portion of the 750ml bottle.

The consequences of being convicted of DWI in Texas increase with each subsequent offense. Since Eberhardt’s most recent DWI conviction is his tenth, he now faces life in prison with the possibility of parole. Most drivers do not need to be concerned with the penalty for a tenth DWI, but it is important that drivers understand what they could face if they are convicted of DWI, whether for the first time or a subsequent offense.

If you are convicted of a first DWI offense, you may have to pay a fine of up to two thousand dollars and spend between three and one hundred and eighty days in jail. Your license may be suspended, and when you are able to get it back, you may have to pay a surcharge in order to keep it. Texas law was recently changed so that a first time DWI offender could even be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

A second DWI conviction could result in a fine of up to four thousand dollars, and between one month and one year of jail time. The license suspension period, surcharge, and possibility of an ignition interlock requirement is the same as it is for a first offense. If you are convicted of DWI in Texas for a third time, you could be fined up to ten thousand dollars and spend two to ten years in state prison, in addition to other penalties like license suspension.

In addition to increasing penalties with each subsequent offense, there are some factors which could increase the penalties in your DWI case regardless of whether this is your first offense or a subsequent offense. For example, DWI with a passenger in the vehicle who is under the age of fifteen could result in a fine of up to ten thousand dollars and a sentence of two years in jail. If you cause serious bodily injury or death as a result of driving while intoxicated, you could face felony charges.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, it is important that you understand the nature of the charges against you. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the charges, and they can help you put up your best defense against them. To lean more, please call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today, at 214-521-4567.