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San Antonio DWI defense attorneysWith periods of “No Refusal” for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) testing being expanded across Texas, it is useful to know your rights when it comes to breath tests, blood tests, urine tests, and other sobriety tests. In particular, you must consider “implied consent” and how it can affect you if pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.

What Is Implied Consent?

While it might seem otherwise, driving throughout the United States is considered a privilege and not a right. This is why when you first get a driver’s license you are required to take tests. In taking and passing those tests and agreeing to the terms of your licensure, you are essentially waiving your rights to be reckless on the road. Most roads are public roads anyway, governed by the rules set forth by your local jurisdiction. To break those rules is to put other people’s safety at risk, which is against the law. By getting that driver’s license, you are giving your “implied consent” to have your blood or your breath tested for alcohol content, which can impair your driving abilities.

Even with Implied Consent, Can You Still Refuse a Blood or Breath Test?

You can refuse to have a chemical test conducted to determine the blood alcohol content in your body if stopped for DWI in Texas, but doing so often carries with it relatively stiff administrative penalties, including:

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Texas DWI Defense AttorneysData over the last few years suggests that San Antonio leads the nation in drunk driving arrests; in fact, from 2009 to 2018, the city of San Antonio had the highest DWI/DUI arrest rate among U.S. cities with 5,181 arrests per 100,000 people, for a total of 77,357 arrests, according to SmartAdvocate. This leads to the important question: What precautions are being taken to prevent driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas? 

6 Ways the Government Is Helping in the Fight Against DWI

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published numerous strategies for how Texas and other states can—and oftentimes do—curb DWIs by raising awareness and better targeting this infraction. Among their suggested methods of curtailing DWIs are:

  1. Stricter Legislation: First and foremost, laws are the primary way to prevent any unsafe behavior. This goes for any activity that puts others at risk. For instance, in Texas, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08%, and the punishments for DWI are more severe than in some other states.
  2. Sobriety Checkpoints: The police might set up these checkpoints in certain places and at high-risk times to verify the sobriety of drivers, regardless of suspicion.
  3. Saturation Patrols: Similar to the sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols involve increased police vehicles that focus on areas of the city where drunk driving is more common.
  4. Ignition Interlocks for Offenders: When an ignition interlock device is installed on a car, the vehicle will not start if the person behind the wheel has been drinking. In addition to the inconvenience, the social stigma of the device can be a deterrent, as well.
  5. Treatment Referrals: Texas law provides harsh penalties for a DWI conviction, but in some cases, substance abuse treatment could be effective. For those with multiple DWIs on their records, treatment can help them get to the root of the problem and prevent future instances of driving drunk. 
  6. Education: Educating the young and other people about DWI, their dangers, and their consequences is a good, proactive approach to preventing the mindset that encourages drunk driving. The government and awareness campaigns have made significant progress in this area over the last few decades. has been making major efforts with this for decades.

Contact a San Antonio DWI Lawyer

The reality is that most people are aware of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. However, all it takes is a single lapse in judgment, and you could be facing charges that can affect the rest of your life. If you have been charged with DWI in or around San Antonio, you need an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney on your side. Call 888-726-5625 for a free consultation. The knowledgeable team at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock will help you fight those charges and get the outcome you need to move on with your life.

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San Antonio DWI defense lawyersThere are many penalties that you can face if you are convicted in Texas for driving while intoxicated. While prison time is a frightening possibility, the loss of your driving privileges is almost a given and may have a lasting effect on your life. Not being allowed to drive could cost you your job and leave you reliant on others for your basic transportation needs. A knowledgeable attorney can help you regain your driving privileges and guide you through the license reinstatement process once you are eligible.

How Long Might You Lose Your License?

The driver’s license suspension that you receive after a DWI conviction is a criminal penalty that is separate from the administrative license suspension that many people receive after being arrested on suspicion of DWI. In Texas:

  • A first-time DWI conviction includes a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year.
  • A second or third DWI conviction includes a driver’s license suspension of 180 days to two years.
  • A conviction for DWI with a child passenger in your vehicle can result in a suspension of as long as 180 days.

Following a DWI conviction, the time that your driver’s license was already suspended under the administrative penalty can be credited towards your criminal suspension.

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Texas DWI appeals lawyerWhen a person is charged with driving while intoxicated, there is a chance that they will be dissatisfied with the outcome of their court case. They may believe that they were unjustly convicted for the charge or unfairly punished after the conviction. Luckily, anyone who has been convicted of a crime in Texas has the right to file an appeal with a higher court. An appellate court has the authority to overturn a conviction or send the case back to the lower court for a new trial with new instructions. 

When Should You Appeal?

Though you always have the option of appealing your conviction, you will need a strong argument if you hope to be successful in your appeal. When an appellate court considers your case, it is not retrying your case from the beginning. Your appeal must explain how the lower court misapplied the law in a way that may have affected the outcome of your case. 

Common reasons for appealing a DWI conviction include:

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San Antonio DWI defense lawyersThroughout the year, police departments across the U.S. use initiatives that increase awareness and enforcement of the laws against driving while intoxicated. Some enforcement methods are illegal in Texas, even though they are legal in other parts of the country. For instance, Texas does not allow sobriety checkpoints. Another term you may hear police departments use is “saturation patrols.” The goal of saturation patrols is the same as sobriety checkpoints, but police implement saturation patrols in a way that gets around the legal controversy of checkpoints.

Defining Saturation Patrols

A saturation patrol is an increased presence of police officers at targeted times and places for the purpose of discouraging DWI incidents and catching alleged drunk drivers. For instance, a police department may have more officers patrolling high traffic areas during holiday weekends because there are typically more drunk drivers on the road during a special occasion when people are attending parties and celebrating. Announcing the time of a saturation patrol in advance and the number of resulting arrests afterward is part of the strategy in hopes that it will discourage people from drinking and driving.

How Are Saturation Patrols Different from DWI Checkpoints?

Texas courts have ruled that sobriety checkpoints violate a driver’s constitutional protection against unwarranted stops. A police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a driver has violated the law before they can stop the driver. All drivers going through a sobriety checkpoint are stopped, regardless of whether they have done anything to raise suspicion.

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Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210
210-226-0965
888-726-5625 Toll Free
210-226-7540

Office

Guadalupe County

109 Court Street,
Seguin, Texas 78155
830-372-1522
888-726-5625 Toll Free