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Increased holiday DUI/DWI patrols: Texans who drive drunk will have a “not-so-merry” Christmas

The holiday season is a time of merriment and joy, gifts and good times, family and friends coming together. Many of the holiday gatherings of relatives, acquaintances and co-workers around the state have one thing in common: holiday “cheer” in the form of alcoholic beverages.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) and individual police jurisdictions recognize that eggnog, wine, mulled cider and festive cocktails are a fact of life during the holiday season. That is why they have beefed up patrols on the state’s roads and will man additional sobriety checkpoints in an attempt to catch intoxicated drivers before accidents happen. The TDPS campaign – funded by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) – will run from December 21 through January 1. It is aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the road during some of the busiest travel days of the year.

The federal government is also increasing DUI/DWI enforcement for the Christmas season with its own high profile campaign. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is a public safety program that stresses deterrence through education with television commercials, internet ads and print spreads demonstrating the possible criminal ramifications of driving while intoxicated, namely being pulled over and charged with DWI/DUI.

If you are pulled over…

One of the most important things to remember if you get pulled over for suspicion of DWI in Texas is that you generally have the right to refuse field sobriety or chemical blood tests without a warrant or court order. There might be administrative penalties from your actions, but taking the time to collect your thoughts and speak with an attorney before answering questions or performing tests can make a huge difference in the consequences you might face.

If the DWI is in conjunction with an accident, you have a prior alcohol-related charge on your criminal record or there are children in the car, though, your right of refusal might be revoked. There are also some situations in which the police can compel you to give a breath or blood sample for testing, but requesting a consult with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible could still help you minimize possible penalties.

Posted on August 3, 2013 in Articles

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