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Driver Arrested for DWI after Interfering with Fire Department & Failing Field Sobriety Test

 Posted on September 09, 2019 in Uncategorized

An enormous fire in Houston was a chaotic scene in the late evening hours of September 24, 2019. The fire led to an unexpected encounter for law enforcement, however, as a man was arrested for DWI at the scene.

At approximately 10 p.m. on September 24, officials received multiple reports of a massive apartment complex fire on Braesvalley Drive in Houston. Within minutes, firefighters responded to the blaze and set to work getting it under control. While it took firefighters roughly 20 minutes to control the blaze, the process did not go smoothly. Multiple vehicles were improperly parked at the scene, making it a challenge for emergency vehicles to get into position.

Ultimately, several vehicles were ticketed due to their interference with the process. In some cases, drivers appearing on the scene actively disrupted the efforts of firefighters by getting too close to the engine. In one case, a driver managed to drive over the water hoses used by the firefighters to combat the blaze. Concerned about their safety, first responders notified law enforcement of the driver.

Near the scene of the fire, police identified the driver and stopped him near the scene. Upon making contact with the man, the police suspected him of intoxication. After failing a field sobriety test, police took the man into custody on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Field Sobriety Tests in Houston

Field sobriety tests are a common tool used by Houston law enforcement to justify a DWI arrest. These commonly include three tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
  • Walk and Turn
  • One-Leg Stand

The tests are allegedly designed to be objective in nature, but they aren't. The so-called experts behind these tests claim the tests offer a way to objectively observe and identify intoxication. However, many in the defense community do not consider these tests to be objective or accurate.

Problems with Field Sobriety Tests

The biggest problems with field sobriety tests are twofold: intoxicated people can pass these tests while some drunk drivers can fool the test. The fact that innocent parties could end up with a conviction due to a faulty sobriety test is concerning. In many cases, naturally occurring conditions could lead to a false positive. Some of the things that could render a false positive include:

  • Poor instructions
  • Poor coordination
  • Arthritis
  • Foot injuries
  • Speech impediment
  • Fatigue
  • Poor lighting.

The accuracy of these tests can be crucial, as they often lead to the arrest of a motorist. However, if a Houston DWI attorney is able to establish that the field sobriety test that led to their arrest was unreliable, the case against their client could be dismissed.

Discuss your options with a Houston DWI Defense Attorney Right Away

The most important thing to know about a field sobriety test is that you do not have to do them. Unlike with breathalyzer tests, punishment does not follow a refusal to perform a field sobriety test. To learn more about your defense options, call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C., P.C. today.

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