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Texas DWI defense attorneysAlthough police officers are held to a higher moral standard than most civilians are, they are still capable of making mistakes like any other person. For instance, an officer’s bias could affect their decisions if they stop you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. An officer is required to have reasonable suspicion that you are violating the law in order to stop you and probable cause that you have committed a crime in order to arrest you. This means that the officer should look at the evidence objectively before concluding that you are intoxicated, but some officers have already formed their opinion before they even talk to you. You may be able to defeat a DWI charge against you if you can prove that the officer’s confirmation bias was the reason for your arrest.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

When a police officer already suspects that you are intoxicated, they will pay more attention to evidence that confirms their bias or interpret evidence in a way that supports their bias. This is known as confirmation bias, and there are several ways that an officer may unintentionally use it during a DWI stop:

  • The officer assumes that any sluggish or unusual behavior is a symptom of intoxication when you may be sick, fatigued, or nervous.
  • The officer does not consider the many factors other than intoxication that could affect your performance on a field sobriety test, such as physical health issues.
  • The officer assumes that your refusal to answer questions or agree to a chemical sobriety test means that you are hiding the fact that you are intoxicated.

Confirmation bias is one of the primary reasons you should refuse a field sobriety test, even when you know you are sober. Evaluating your balance or eye movement is completely subjective, and the officer’s interpretation of your performance might be based on an assumption that you are intoxicated.

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Deep in the Heart of Texas: Farther Up the Road With an Open Container of Alcohol Can Cause You HeartacheThe phone rings, it is three o’clock in the morning and your friend needs your help. After a night out on the Texas town your friend has come to the realization that they are too intoxicated to drive. Satisfied with your friend’s decision of not enlisting in the ranks with the reported 2.1% of Texans who have admitted to driving while having too much to drink, you are only happy to help. Clearly beyond the legal limit of a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and not another soul in sight they surely made the smart decision of contacting you for help but there is one thing that could easily undo this good deed, your friend jumped in your car with an open container of alcohol.

Thankful you were available to help and save your friend from an almost certain driving while under the influence (DWI) charge or worse yet, an accident, not much thought has been given to the open beer as you continue the drive to his house.

As yet another beer can cracks open your attention quickly diverts to the Texas State Police cruiser behind you and in an instant, the lights begin signaling you to pull over. No worries you think as you remember that your passenger tail light has burnt out and you have yet to repair it. Perhaps a warning and perhaps even a bit of authoritative praise for your journey of good will toward you intoxicated friend.

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Office

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