How Do Police Build a DWI Case?
When a police officer conducts a driving while intoxicated (DWI) investigation, they rarely rely on a single clue to determine whether or not you have been drinking, but rather they consider the totality of the circumstances. Officers are looking for signs of drunk driving from the moment they initiate the traffic stop until the moment you are released from their custody. Understanding the evidence police may use to justify a DWI arrest can help you build a strong defense against DWI charges.
Clues Officers Look for During a DWI Investigation
This particular stage of a DWI investigation is called “personal contact,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At this point, an officer opens up all his or her senses and takes mental notes on what he or she sees, hears, and smells.
The officer will likely first scrutinize your appearance by looking at your eyes to if they are bloodshot, listen to your voice for slurred speech, and leaning in to smell your breath. The officer will also note your physical and verbal actions. He or she will watch for a loss or lack of coordination like shaky hands or furtive movements, and listen for abusive language or unusual statements.
In addition to noting what you look like and how you are acting, the officer may also scan the inside of your vehicle. While a tired or ill person can sometimes be confused with a drunk person, what the officer sees in plain view can be more telling. Items like alcohol containers, pill bottles, or drug paraphernalia may all initiate a DWI arrest.
If an officer notices signs of intoxication during a traffic stop, he or she might then begin a pre-arrest screening, which typically involves field sobriety tests. The result of those tests plus the aforementioned factors will determine whether or not you are arrested.
Contact a San Antonio, TX DWI Defense Attorney
The consequences of a DWI conviction can be profound - especially if you have previously been convicted of drunk driving. If you are facing a DWI charge, contact experienced Texas DWI attorney Sam H. Lock for help building a solid defense. In addition to practicing law for more than a decade, the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock has received numerous awards and accolades. Call 1-888-SAM-LOCK or 888-726-5625.