San Antonio DWI defense attorneyIn recent years, more focus has been placed on catching those who choose to drive while intoxicated (DWI) and preventing it from happening in the first place. In Texas, one of the programs that has been implemented as a deterrent for people to avoid drinking and driving is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program. Like in most other states, you can lose your driver’s license in Texas through an administrative process if you are arrested for DWI under certain circumstances. If you are facing administrative penalties relating to a DWI, sometimes known in other jurisdictions as a DUI, a DWI defense attorney can help you understand your options. 

The ALR Process and Implied Consent

If a police officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving, he or she will likely pull you over and request that you perform a series of field sobriety tests. If one of these tests involves a preliminary chemical breath test, you have the right to refuse the test without facing consequences. However, once you have been arrested, you are subject to implied consent. This means you must submit to chemical testing or face the consequences set forth by the state of Texas, which is a driver’s license suspension. Since you have not yet been convicted of DWI, this is not a criminal charge, but rather an administrative process that is separate from the criminal element of your case.

How Does the ALR Process Work?

Once you have been placed under arrest, the police officer will ask you to provide a sample for chemical testing to determine your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). You will be subject to an administrative license revocation if:

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyTo many people, the assumption has always been that being pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) was almost always the result of driving after drinking one-too-many alcoholic beverages. While that might be the most common reason for being charged and even convicted for DWI, the truth is that there are plenty of other legitimate reasons you might be pulled over for DWI and yet not have to deal with a breathalyzer or another blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level test, among other things. That is because the most critical element of a DWI arrest is proof of impairment, and impairment is not just caused by alcohol. Here are some other reasons you might be pulled over for DWI due to impairment.

All the Ways You Might Be Impaired While Driving

A recent NHTSA report suggests that nearly 20 percent of all drivers might be impaired by any number of substances at any given time. For example, in addition to alcohol, you might experience some type of impairment if you are using any one or a mix of the following substances:

  • Marijuana—While marijuana use for adults is legal in some states, it still causes some types of impairment. This is contrary to popular misconceptions that suggest marijuana can actually make you a better driver. This is clearly untrue; marijuana has been shown to cause:
    • Lack of coordination
    • Poor judgment
    • Slow reaction times
    • Trouble multitasking
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine—These two stimulants, which are illegal, lead to the following impairments:
    • Aggressiveness
    • Recklessness
  • Prescription drugs and Over-the-Counter Medications—While these are not by any means illegal (unless you obtain them illegally), they do cause many impairments depending on how your body reacts to them and the dosage. For instance, some of these medicines might cause the following:
    • Excessive drowsiness and sleepiness
    • Substantial dizziness
    • Whichever other side effects the medicine label warns about that could impair your driving
  • Mixing any drugs with each other or alcohol—Doing this often creates an even larger effect, accentuating all the impairing side effects that make driving so dangerous when using them.

Contact a San Antonio DWI Lawyer

As you can see, being pulled over for DWI due to any type of impairment—and not just excessive alcohol consumption—can lead to charges and a strong case against you. That is why you need to retain representation from a skilled San Antonio criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 888-726-5625 for a free consultation about DWI to learn more about how this experienced team can win your case. 

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Texas DWI defense attorneyWhile DWI (driving while intoxicated) itself is a very serious offense, the most serious offense related to such a crime is intoxication manslaughter. This is no coincidence—the whole purpose of law enforcement serving and protecting other civilian drivers from those drivers who are intoxicated is to maintain their safety from serious injury or death. When an intoxicated driver kills someone by accident or mistake, the offense is referred to as intoxication manslaughter, and its penalties are very serious indeed.

What Constitutes Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the law defines “intoxication manslaughter” as follows:

“An individual is committing the offense of intoxication manslaughter if that person operates a motor vehicle in a public space, an aircraft, a watercraft, an amusement ride, or assembles an amusement ride while being intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than or equal to .08% in which the aforementioned intoxication causes the death of another by mistake or accident.”

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San Antonio DWI defense attorneyIt is late. You are drunk and far away from home. You know driving at this stage of drunkenness would be illegal, but you also cannot afford the money necessary to get all the way back home from where you are. What are your options? Call a friend or family member? “Sleep it off” on a public bench and risk being arrested? Risk driving home anyway and then eventually getting charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) or worse depending on what happens while you are driving drunk? There is another option all across Texas, including the “Sobering Unit” at Roberto L. Jimenez M.D. Restoration Center (“Drunk Tank” for “down-and-outs”) in San Antonio. These sobering centers offer a compelling alternative for both law enforcement and drunk civilians, including those contemplating driving home drunk. Here is why.

“Sobering Center” Defined

Sobering centers are seen as intermediaries between actual arrests with legal consequences for drunkenness that disrupts the peace and expensive hospital visits for excessive drinking. In short, these sobering centers are short-term recovery facilities where drunk or otherwise inebriated civilians can “sleep it off” and get a chance to regain their sobriety less the headaches of the morning after with the option to continue with recovery programs and other treatment options.

What Makes Sobering Centers a Productive Alternative to DWI?

While originally intended as a means to get drunk people off the streets and into recovery programs, should they choose, the sobering centers have proven themselves useful in many ways to many people for a multitude of different reasons: 

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San Antonio intoxication manslaughter attorneyDWI (driving while intoxicated), DUI (driving under the influence), and even BWI (boating while intoxicated) are all common charges throughout the San Antonio area. However, one charge is not discussed nearly as often and yet has very serious consequences, in and outside of the courtroom: intoxication assault. Here is how Texas law defines intoxication assault, including its associated terminology and penalties.

Intoxication Assault Defined

Per Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits intoxication assault if that person causes serious bodily injury to another: 

  • While operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated;
  • While operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated; or
  • As a result of assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated.

There are two key phrases in this definition of intoxication assault: "while intoxicated" and "serious bodily injury." In terms of operating motor vehicles or other modes of transportation while intoxicated, in Texas, an adult of the age of 21 or older cannot operate such a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. When that happens, a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is filed against the intoxicated driver; however, compound that with “serious bodily injury” of someone else, and there is intoxication assault.

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Bexar County

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San Antonio, Texas 78210
210-226-0965
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Guadalupe County

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