Accidents happen. We all understand that. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, car crashes injured almost 250,000 people in Texas in 2018. Unfortunately, 26% of people who died in Texas crashed involved a driver under the influence of alcohol. More alcohol-related crashes happen in Texas between 2 am, and 3 am than at any other hour of the day. As a result, if you're involved in an accident in Texas, particularly at night or on the weekend, the police will closely scrutinize anyone involved for alcohol use. That's what a San Antonio woman discovered after a recent evening crash.
According to police, the woman lost control of her car on Whisper Lane in San Antonio around 3 am on Friday, April 23, 2021. She hit a light pole and then slammed into the side of a house. None of the three people inside were injured. The driver was also unharmed, but police did arrest her on suspicion of DWI.
Driving While Intoxicated
Under Texas law, intoxication results when you have a BAC at or above .08% or if you don't have the normal use of your physical or mental faculties due to the use of drugs or alcohol. The police can't just roll up to an accident scene and arrest you, but an accident can give the police more opportunity to develop probable cause for a DWI arrest.
- Reasonable Suspicion
In the typical DWI stop, police will pull over a driver after violating a traffic law. The traffic violation gives them reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver can involve speeding or driving too slowly, failure to signal a turn, failure to stop at a light or stop sign, driving at night without headlights, or any other traffic violation. Reasonable suspicion has to be more than a hunch. Rather, the police must point to specific facts concerning why they believe you committed a crime.
If you are involved in a crash with property damage, you have a legal duty to remain at the scene, render assistance if needed, and provide your information. If it appears that the accident was your fault, the police may already have reasonable suspicion to question you and possibly perform field sobriety tests. The police will need to interact with you to take a report and possibly issue a citation.
- Probable Cause
The police must have probable cause to arrest you for DWI, search your car, or give you a BAC breath or blood test. Probable cause means that the police have a reasonable belief that you committed a criminal act after considering the relevant facts and circumstances. Again, probable cause must be more than a gut reaction. The circumstances of the situation must support a suspicion of guilt. After an accident, the police will interact with you to determine the cause of the accident. They will also make a report and possibly issue a citation. As a result, they will have an opportunity to interact with you a great deal and determine whether they believe you have the normal use of your mental and physical faculties. As a result, the police may use these interactions as probable cause for an arrest or BAC test.
Hire an Experienced & Board Certified Texas DWI Lawyer
If you're facing a DWI charge after an accident, you need an attorney who is an expert at defending complex DWI cases. You may also be facing additional charges related to any property damage and defending yourself after extended interaction with the police before your arrest. Attorney Doug Murphy is a Board Certified expert in both DWI defense and criminal law. Doug has years of experience defending complex DWI cases, including those with aggravating circumstances like accidents and injuries. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333 today to set up a consultation or contact us online.
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