Posted by : attorney stevelee

Holding Impaired Drivers Accountable Through Identification and Questioning

One-third of all traffic-related deaths are caused by drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Although the surge in campaigns against drunk driving has brought this issue to the forefront, an average of 150 million incidents of impaired driving are still self-reported each year. As a result, drivers like you need to be able to identify signs of impaired driving before its too late, while state legislatures and police officers need to go the extra mile to identify, question, and detain impaired drivers. Otherwise, they’ll continue to place you, your family, and the community at risk for serious injuries.

Identifying Impaired Drivers

When drivers are intoxicated, they often act in a dangerous and reckless manner. As such, you may be able to identify an impaired driver before getting too close. When driving, look out for the following signs that a driver may be impaired.

  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Making incredibly wide turns
  • Straddling the center line on the road
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Acting aggressively toward other drivers;
  • Driving much slower or faster than moving traffic
  • Braking unnecessarily
  • Having delayed reactions to street signs or other drivers’ maneuvers.

By identifying potential signs of impaired driving, you can adjust your distance and avoid a tragic accident. Furthermore, law enforcement can also use these markers to identify and question potentially dangerous drunk drivers.

Questioning (Presumed) Impaired Drivers

It is estimated that half of all drivers who are pulled over for a suspected DWI refuse to consent to field sobriety and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests. Unfortunately, these tests are the only way to determine the amount of impairment a driver is suffering at the time of questioning. However, Texas laws have ways to get around obstinate drivers—especially those who refuse sobriety tests.

Law of Implied Consent

Texas has a law that states when a driver becomes legally licensed in the state of Texas, he has officially consented to take a breath or BAC test in the event of being pulled over. This law, the Law of Implied Consent, means that if an officer has reasonable cause to believe that a driver he has pulled over is drunk, that driver cannot refuse a sobriety test without penalties. If the driver refuses, he faces a lengthy license suspension regardless of his BAC level.

Texas Transportation Code (Annotated 724.035)

Even tougher legislation was enacted to amend the Law of Implied Consent to include situations where a BAC refusal will not be tolerated. Generally, an officer can’t force you to take a test. However, the amendment allows for an officer to mandate that a suspected drunken driver takes a blood test without warrant and after refusal if:

  • He was involved in a car accident that caused injuries.
  • He has children in the car
  • He has a history of DWI offenses
  • He has an open alcohol container in the passenger area

Getting Justice From Impaired Drivers

When you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver, it is hard to resist wanting justice to be served. After all, the decision to drink and drive isn’t an “accident”—it’s intentional. After witnessing the aftermath of thousands of DWI accidents over the past 35 years, Steve Lee knows how you feel—and furthermore, has the knowledge and experience to help you get it.

Help is available 24 hours a day and the initial consultation is always FREE. So, contact us today at 713-921-4171 or 1-800-232-3711 for more information.

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