Top Ten Things to Consider Before Drinking & Driving in Texas

Being charged in Texas with a DUI is a very serious matter and as such, should never be taken lightly.  For instance, those who are ultimately convicted may face devastating legal consequences, including jail time, harsh monetary fines and penalties, community service, alcohol counseling and a permanent – and easily discoverable – criminal record.   Accordingly, it is important to consider the following tips before drinking and getting behind the wheel in Texas:

 1.  If you plan on drinking heavily, arrange for transportation ahead of time.  The main reason why people are arrested for a DUI is that they decided to drive rather than arranging for someone to pick them up.  If you cannot find a friend or family member to get you, call a taxi company and make sure they are available to pick you up when you are ready to return home.

2.  Even if you drink “responsibly”, you may still face a DUI-related arrest.  There is a difference between what you feel and what your blood alcohol content (BAC) reads.  Meaning, you could feel perfectly fine to drive yet your BAC may be above the legal limit (0.08% or greater).

3.  You could lose your license.  Even if you are deemed a “first-time offender”, you could face losing your driver’s license.  While this is not typically the most severe punishment associated with a DUI-related offense in Texas, it is still very serious and associated with a number of legal repercussions and challenges.

4.  You can still face arrest even if you are under the legal limit.  If a police officer pulls you over after observing “intoxicated-like” driving, he or she can still arrest you even if you blow less than a 0.08% BAC on your breathalyzer test.  The reason being is that the officer has the right to deem you unfit, or too impaired to drive, despite your legal BAC reading.

5.  You are being recorded at all times.  From the time when you are pulled over to when you are processed in jail, you are being recorded.  It is important to realize that in Texas, police officers’ vehicles are equipped with dashboard cameras – meaning, be as police and conciliatory as possible when you are dealing with your arresting police officer.

6.  Be mindful of what you have in your car.  At the time of your arrest, a Texas police offer is authorized to conduct a full search and inventory of your vehicle.  As such, forgetting to get rid of that marijuana cigarette in your glove compartment or an empty bottle of wine in the back seat of your car could result in even harsher fines and punishment.

7.  Everything you say will be used against you.  Before being arrested, a Texas police officer can question you without providing you with Miranda warnings.  These questions (i.e. where and how much were you drinking, how drunk you think you are, etc.) are designed to assess your level of intoxication.  That is why it is important to invoke your right to remain silent should you be asked these types of incriminating questions.

If you are interested in learning more about the above, or are facing DUI-related charges in Texas, contact Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at 214-521-4567.  For over three decades, Dallas criminal defense attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended individuals facing DUI charges located throughout the City of Dallas and Dallas County.  Don’t wait to obtain the representation you deserve – call our office today for help!

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