Raising a strong defense is always important for those accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI), as those who are convicted of this offense face severe and potentially far-reaching consequences. For instance, even first time DWI offenders face jail time, the suspension of their driver’s license, and hefty fines. With the help of an experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer, however, a defendant could have his or her charges reduced or even dismissed.
Challenging the Testimony of the Arresting Officer
In many DWI cases, one of the most important pieces of evidence presented by the state is the testimony of the arresting officer, who can relate the observations that he or she made regarding the driver’s level of intoxication at the time of arrest. This usually includes allegations that a driver was weaving, driving erratically, crossing over the centerline, or running red lights. Other common observations include the way that the driver looked and acted after being pulled over, including whether he or she:
- Smelled of alcohol;
- Had bloodshot eyes;
- Had slurred speech;
- Failed a breathalyzer test; or
- Failed a field sobriety test.
Presenting evidence that discredits this testimony can have devastating consequences for the prosecutor’s case, so if you believe that the officer who pulled you over failed to perform the proper tests, detained you without cause, or behaved in a prejudiced manner, you should tell your attorney as soon as possible.
Introduce Other Witness Testimony
When drivers weren’t alone at the time of their arrest, they are often able to use the testimony of other individuals in defending themselves against DWI charges. Witnesses in these kinds of cases could be able to testify that they didn’t see the driver drinking before getting into the vehicle, could offer an explanation for the driver’s erratic driving, or could testify as to any improprieties or questionable conduct they observed on the part of the arresting officer.
Providing a Valid Explanation
A defendant’s ability to provide a valid explanation for how he or she was acting at the time of the arrest can be used to counter any testimony offered by the arresting officer. If, for instance, a person has a physical impairment that makes him or her unable to perform a field sobriety test, proof of that impairment could be used to counter the allegations. Similarly, slurred speech could be the result of fatigue or a prescribed medication and bloodshot eyes could be attributed to allergies or a lack of sleep. A failure on the part of the arresting officer could also provide an explanation for the arrest. If, for example, the officer failed to provide adequate instruction during the field sobriety test and the driver was unable to perform well as a result, he or she could use that evidence to provide an alternative explanation for the test results.
Call Today for Help with Your DWI Allegations
You have the right to defend yourself if you were recently accused of driving while intoxicated. Please call 713-489-7373 today to speak with one of the experienced DWI lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates about the kinds of evidence that could help you clear you name.