DWI Charge from an Unsafe Roadway

Posted by Doug Murphy | Jun 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

Many DWI charges begin predictably. The suspected intoxicated driver weaves across the centerline or otherwise drives erratically, resulting in a lawful police stop and DWI arrest. Yet, that's not the only way that police find probable cause to suspect a DWI crime. Your vehicle making the roadway unsafe is another way that can lead to a DWI arrest. Control your vehicle so that it does not create a road hazard. Otherwise, you may find yourself responding to a police stop and DWI charge.

Unsafe Roadway Leads to DWI Charge

A recent story illustrates the hazard. Harris County authorities allege that an intoxicated driver's wandering vehicle struck a roadway median, tearing apart the vehicle's oil pan. The driver motored onto a distant parking lot, leaving behind a mile-long oil slick. A motorcyclist encountering the oil slick crashed, killing himself and leaving the motorcycle in the roadway for another vehicle to strike. Police responding to the accident scene traced the oil slick to the intoxicated driver's distant parked vehicle. The intoxicated driver now faces a DWI charge, after allegedly showing signs of impairment at his arrest. No witness complained of the intoxicated driver's wandering vehicle. Police found that the physical evidence was alone enough to pursue the DWI charge.

Roadway Hazards from Intoxicated Driving

A mile-long oil slick isn't the only way for an intoxicated driver to create an unsafe roadway, leading to a DWI arrest and charge. More commonly, the intoxicated driver's wandering vehicle strikes a roadway sign, light pole, mailbox, or other fixture along the roadway. Or the intoxicated driver's vehicle strikes another vehicle parked along the roadside. The roadside collision either disables the intoxicated driver's vehicle in the roadway, creating an unsafe obstacle for passing motorists, or leaves behind hazardous debris. Passing motorists alert police to the obstacle, or police respond to a second crash the obstacle or debris causes. Police then trace the evidence back to the intoxicated driver, who then faces a DWI charge.

Defending a DWI Charge Arising from Roadway Hazards

Clearly, intoxicated drivers don't have to encounter police to end up with a DWI charge. Sometimes, the intoxicated driver's uncontrolled vehicle creates a roadway hazard. Police then use the physical evidence to pursue the DWI charge. These cases, though, present special opportunities for an aggressive and effective defense. Reasonable doubt about the charge can arise, when police start putting two-and-two together for these roadway-hazard DWI charges. Police may also lack reasonable suspicion for a stop or probable cause for an arrest, when they start jumping to conclusions about what action created what roadway hazard.

Retain a DWI Specialist for Your DWI Defense

Expert representation can beat a DWI charge arising out of an unsafe roadway condition. If you or a family member or friend face a DWI charge in which the arresting officers didn't observe impaired operation and instead pieced together physical evidence for the charge, then don't let the charge lead to conviction. Retain Board Certified DWI Specialist Doug Murphy to assert your DWI defenses and win your DWI case. Trust 2021 Houston DWI Lawyer of the Year Doug Murphy to beat your Texas DWI charge. Attorney Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers holding both DWI Board Certification and Criminal Law Certification. Contact Doug Murphy Law Firm online or at (713) 229-8333 to discuss your case today.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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