If you're facing an arrest for driving while intoxicated, you're undoubtedly worried about what can happen if a court convicts you. But a DWI can also impact your career, particularly if you are a first responder or would like to become one. That's what a Lubbock Independent School District police officer recently discovered after police arrested him on suspicion of DWI.
Lubbock ISD officer arrested
Lubbock police responded to a crash at East Slaton Highway and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Lubbock on April 24, 2021, just before midnight. On the scene, they found the Lubbock ISD police officer had allegedly rear-ended another vehicle, sending one person to University Medical Center with back pain. The ISD officer declined medical treatment. A Lubbock police officer allegedly smelled alcohol and found beer containers in the ISD officer's car.
The police report indicated that the ISD officer's “speech was also extremely slurred and was hard to understand what he was saying.” It went on to state that he “was swaying in place and was having a hard time walking around.” Police arrested him on suspicion of DWI, a Class B misdemeanor. He was later released on bond while the case is pending.
The Lubbock Independent School District later released a statement indicating that the district placed the officer “on administrative leave with pay pending the results of an investigation related to his arrest for suspicion of DWI on April 24.”
First Responders Arrested for DWI
First responders, like police officers, aren't supposed to get special treatment when arrested. So, you'll likely face the same consequences and perhaps even a prosecutor who is bending over backward to ensure you don't receive special treatment. If you're facing a first DWI, it's a Class B misdemeanor, and you could face 72 hours to 180 days in jail plus fines. However, if you're facing a felony DWI because of multiple convictions or aggravating factors like a serious injury, a child in the car, or a DWI-related death, the stakes are higher. A third DWI can result in two to ten years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
The consequences to your career can also be serious. While a first DWI conviction probably won't preclude you from all first responder positions, some police and fire precincts have strict rules about DWIs. As the ISD police officer in Lubbock discovered, school districts, in particular, may not allow officers with DWI convictions. If you have a felony DWI conviction, you can lose your ability to carry a firearm in Texas. If that happens, the felony DWI may completely preclude you from becoming a police officer, and many first responder agencies won't hire someone with a felony conviction.
You Need an Expert DWI Attorney
If you're facing a DWI as a first responder, or if you aspire to become a Texas first responder in the future, you need a DWI defense attorney right away. Attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in Texas Board Certified in DWI Defense and Criminal Law. He's got the experience necessary to understand the potential impact a conviction can have on your career and the knowledge and skill to help. Find out why the Houston press calls him “the drinking driver's best friend.” Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333 today to set up a consultation.