A changing of the seasons is upon us, and that means a lot of different things. Baseball season will give way to Saturdays and Sundays spent watching football and passing the time with families and friends. Eventually the weather will cool (somewhat) and more people will be spending time indoors.
As the seasons change, and especially as holidays approach, the number of DWI patrols, investigations, and charges will increase. As a result, for those of us who will be winding down and spending more time indoors and away from home, we should be aware of the dangers that the season brings. Those dangers reach beyond drinking and driving, and protecting the innocent from being wrongly accused is just as important.
Of course, the first step and most practical piece of advice anyone can give is to avoid drinking and driving at all. But at the same time, each and every person who gets behind the wheel should be aware of his or her rights, and ensure that those rights are not violated by the state in any form whatsoever.
Among the rights that we all enjoy as Americans and Texans is the right to be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures by the state unless there is probable cause and a warrant issued by a judge. This principle was recently upheld the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled that as a matter of law, the police are required to obtain a warrant before conducting a blood draw on someone who is suspected of DWI.
Obtaining a warrant requires that the police meet a number of elements first. Number one, they must collect enough evidence from a person to support show that there is probable cause they were drinking and driving. Then they must present that evidence to independent magistrate or judge who approves a warrant to draw blood. Only then is the state authorized to take a blood sample and test it for its blood alcohol content. Of course this is the standard set by the U.S. Constitutional, but Texas has its own laws that protect people from warrantless blood draws.
It is also important to know and be aware of the consequences of refusing a blood or breath test once suspected of DWI. This means that the driver could lose his or her license for a long period of time, and even be fined. If that happens, there are court-based remedies a person can seek to try to fix those problems.
Understanding and Defending Rights
Knowing what your rights are is important, but understanding how they apply to your case and what you need to do to defend them is even more so. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our practice is dedicated to helping those accused of DWI fight the charges, defend their rights, and force the state to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are facing DWI charges now, or if you are charged in the future, contact us. We will give you a free case evaluation and help you understand what steps you need to take next.