Recent blog posts

How a DWI Can Hurt Your Job ProspectsThe consequences of a driving while intoxicated conviction can extend beyond the punishments that a court issues you. Prison time, fines and restricted driving privileges can be the immediate outcomes of a conviction. However, people with DWI offenses on their criminal records can face societal limitations on their basic living needs, such as obtaining employment and credit. This is the first in a two-part series on the extended consequences of a DWI conviction. This first part focuses on how a DWI conviction can hurt your ability to obtain or keep a job.

Retaining Employment

Your first employment concern if you are convicted on a DWI charge is whether you can keep your job. Texas is an at-will employment state, meaning that many employers do not need a reason to terminate an employee. For employees protected by contracts, there may be language in the contract that allows an employee to be terminated if he or she is convicted of certain crimes. If your conviction results in significant prison time, you are highly unlikely to keep your job. If you avoid prison time, there are several factors that may determine whether your employer retains you, including:

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Texas Woman Falsely Accuses Officer of Sexual Assault During DWI ArrestPolice officers have a responsibility to behave professionally and respect the rights of a person they suspect of committing a crime, such as driving while intoxicated. Police misconduct during an arrest can force prosecutors to dismiss criminal charges or a court to find in favor of the defendant. Dashboard and body cameras are meant to keep police officers accountable by recording visual and audio evidence of what happened during the arrest. However, those investigating alleged police misconduct can also use video evidence to disprove a false claim. For instance, video footage seems to debunk a Texas woman’s allegation that a police officer sexually assaulted her during her DWI arrest.

Allegations

A police officer stopped a 37-year-old Texas woman in May for a traffic violation, which led to her arrest on suspicion of DWI. The woman’s family reportedly contacted a civil rights attorney because the woman claimed that the arresting officer sexually assaulted her and threatened violence. The accusations included that:

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Medical Condition Can Affect DWI Breath Test ResultsA 64-year-old woman in Canada was recently arrested for refusing to submit to a breath test after a police officer stopped her for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Police suspended the woman’s driver’s license for 90 days and impounded her vehicle. However, the woman claims that she did not refuse the test but was unable to complete it due to a chronic lung disease. The woman has a condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which restricts her breathing ability. When the woman could not sustain her breath long enough to give a sample, the officer assumed that she was purposefully not complying. Drivers suspected of DWI should inform officers of health conditions that may affect the outcome of a sobriety test.

Breath Test Accuracy

Breath and blood tests are the most common ways for police officers to determine whether a DWI suspect has a blood alcohol concentration greater than the legal limit. Officers commonly use breath tests first because they are cheaper and easier to administer. However, they are also less accurate than blood tests because:

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Older Drivers More Susceptible to Effects of AlcoholSenior citizens are generally at greater risk of traffic accidents and violations than an average adult driver. Their driving skills can diminish with age because their physical reactions are slower and their vision and hearing are weaker. Seniors who choose to drink and drive will also see an increased danger of being stopped by police and arrested for driving while intoxicated. Though it is a difficult adjustment, seniors must understand that alcohol will have a more pronounced effect on their driving skills than when they were younger.

Processing Alcohol

Social drinkers often anticipate their level of driving impairment by the number and types of alcoholic drinks they consume. They learn what their own limits are, though it is not an exact science. However, senior citizens should not expect the drinking habits they formed at a younger age to affect their driving skills in the same way:

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Police Targeting Drunk Drivers Near Bars Does Not Equal EntrapmentPolice officers know the times when and places where people are most likely to commit a driving while intoxicated offense. Thus, police cars are often parked near bars and entertainment venues late at night, looking for drivers who show signs of impairment. This may seem unfair if you are one of the unfortunate people pulled over. Some defendants wonder whether this form of targeting qualifies as entrapment. However, it is rare to be able to prove that a police officer is guilty of entrapment in a DWI case. Claiming that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over is a more successful defensive strategy.

Entrapment

The legal definition of entrapment is when a police officer induces a defendant to commit a criminal offense which the defendant would not have otherwise committed. An officer watching for drunk drivers near a place where people have been drinking does not qualify as entrapment because the officer is not inducing the driver to:

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