Drink. Drive. Go to Jail. Really?
You’ve probably seen those flashing public service digital marquees as you drive to work in the morning: “DRINK. DRIVE. GO TO JAIL.” or “BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING.” All day long the messages cycle through and all the while hundreds of thousands of Texans pass right by thinking that is the law. Think about it though, does drinking automatically mean you go to jail if you hop behind your wheel? Is buzzed driving really intoxicated driving? While those responsible for these PSAs may think they are doing citizens a favor by reminding them that alcohol and motor vehicles are usually not a good combination, something more damaging may be happening on a far more regular basis.
Simply, people are being misinformed about the law. As we all know, the smallest change of words when it comes to the law can have profound repercussions. This is what the law in Texas says about driving while intoxicated:
A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. But by playing with words – “buzzed, drunk, tipsy”, the message can me very misleading as to whether you are “intoxicated”.
(A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
(B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Now remember, alcohol can affect you based on the number of drinks you’ve had, your body weight, and even your gender. However, as you can clearly see, nowhere in the law does it say that ANY amount of drinking should lead to arrest or conviction. Unfortunately for citizens, “DRINK. DRIVE. GO TO JAIL.” appears to be the public policy followed by law enforcement. The officer bases his arrest decision on his personal opinion that a citizen has lost the normal use of his/her mental or physical faculties.
Is B.A.C. the end?
The question of BAC comes after the citizen has already been arrested. However, individual breath tests and blood tests have been shown to be inaccurate and unreliable which has resulted in many citizens being found not guilty of DWI by jurors who disagreed with the officer’s opinion and lost faith in the tests after learning more about them.
Knowing the law is an important first step, but knowing and being able to navigate through it purposefully and intelligently to make informed decisions is a whole other matter. If you find yourself with a DWI on your hands, you’re going to need someone who knows the law and who will understand from the beginning that you’re no criminal. For the best DWI lawyer in San Antonio, call Corley Legal today.