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Texas DWI during the holidays: What to do if you are arrested

It's common for a person to have "one too many" at a Christmas or New Year's Eve party. At times during the holidays, many Texas law enforcement officers are on alert, looking for drunk drivers. Perhaps you or a family member was recently stopped, Breathalyzed and arrested.

A DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction can cause you a world of trouble: possible consequences include the loss of your license, big fines, much higher car insurance premiums and jail time, even for a first offense. You can also suffer damage to your relationships and reputation. If you are arrested for drunk driving this holiday season, you need to take action.

Different offenses

There are different crimes associated with alcohol and driving, including refusing a blood test, driving under the influence of certain drugs, and driving with an open container. Penalties are often more severe when property damage or injuries have occurred. Penalties are different for underage drivers.

In general, to convict you of DWI, the state has to prove that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was higher than .08 percent. But you can also be arrested if an officer makes an observation about your appearance and behavior, even if your BAC was not above the legal limit.

Controlling the damage

Even if the evidence against you seems strong, an experienced DWI defense attorney can help you develop an effective strategy to control the damage. A defense lawyer may be able to do one or more of the following after your arrest:

  • Help you keep your driver's license by representing you in an administrative (DMV) hearing
  • Have the DWI charges dropped if the traffic stop was illegal
  • Challenge the breath test or blood test evidence that was used to charge you
  • Negotiate with the prosecution to obtain a more favorable outcome in your case
  • Leverage educational or community service programs that may be available to first-time offenders

Every case is different. But in any situation involving a DWI arrest, you should:

  • Be polite and cooperative with the police officer, deputy or state trooper
  • Exercise your legal right to talk to an attorney before you answer questions about your case
  • Get legal advice promptly, since you may have a limited time during which you can file certain motions or take other actions regarding your driving privileges

Being arrested during the holiday season can be stressful. Make sure you have the legal counsel you need before proceeding with any course of action.

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