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DWI and Bad Weather in Texas

 Posted on February 27, 2024 in Uncategorized

Texas DWI LawyerWhat does the weather have to do with getting arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated? Quite a bit - bad weather conditions can cause problems with roadside sobriety tests, and can even provide an officer with a reason to make a traffic stop they otherwise could not have made. Even sober and cautious drivers may be at the mercy of slippery roads. People undergoing field sobriety tests can also have their results impacted by the presence of certain weather conditions. Is it really fair that one person’s balance is tested on a nice day with nothing but a gentle breeze, while another person is expected to produce the same results in high winds and rain? If you were accused of a DWI during a period of nasty weather, an experienced Houston, TX DWI lawyer may be able to show the court that the weather played a role in making you appear more intoxicated than you were. 

How the Weather Affects Field Sobriety Tests 

Certain weather conditions can affect how a person performs on field sobriety tests. Your lawyer may be able to challenge your results if you took the test under conditions like: 

  • High winds - When there is a storm creating strong winds, this can impair your ability to look well-balanced while you try to walk a straight line or stand on one leg. 

  • Heavy rains - Rain or snow can make it harder to see the line you are supposed to be walking on, making it easy to put your foot off the line. 

  • Slippery roadside - Trying to take the test on a slippery surface can easily make you look intoxicated when you were in fact sober and just lost your footing in the mud or on ice. 

Officers may not take the weather into account when writing down sobriety test results. 

How the Weather Affects Traffic Stops 

Some police officers will claim that a normal response to weather is actually a sign of drunk driving. For example, you may have been pulled over because you: 

  • Drove slowly - An officer may stop a driver who is going under the speed limit in response to poor visibility.

  • Stopped early - Stopping farther than normal behind the driver ahead of you when the roads are slick is responsible. However, an officer may say they thought your depth perception was off. 

  • Briefly hydroplaned - No matter how carefully you drive, briefly sliding due to icy or wet roads can happen. 

People are pulled over more frequently in poor weather conditions than on pleasant days. 

Contact a Houston, TX, DWI Attorney

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. can help if you have been accused of a DWI. Our knowledgeable Harris County, TX, DWI lawyers will work to create the best defense available to you. Contact us at 713-229-8333 for a free consultation.

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