Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Laws and penalties vary from state to state. Some states may refer to a drunk driving related offense as DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) OVI (Operating Vehicle Impaired), or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) but these all refer to the same offense.
An individual suspected of operating a motor vehicle impaired may initially be subjected to a field sobriety test (FST). This is a quick exercise for the driver which is used to determine whether or not they are intoxicated. The police officer may ask the individual to follow a pen with their eyes, recite the alphabet, tip their head back and touch their nose, or walk in a straight line heal to toe. These tasks are difficult to perform for an individual under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If the officer suspects a person is intoxicated after performing a field sobriety test he may subject the driver to a Breathalyzer test on the scene or he may escort the individual to the police station for a blood or urine test to determine the percentage of alcohol in their blood stream. All that is required in Texas, for a person over the age of 21, to be charged with a drunk driving related offense is a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08%. The majority of states have now passed laws which allow the arresting office to revoke the license of drivers who fail or refuse to take a breath test. These laws are referred to as Administrative License Revocation (ALR). All states have adopted zero tolerance polices which prohibit drivers under 21 from having any measurable amount of alcohol in their blood system.
The consequences of drunken driving offenses differ drastically from state to state and are influenced by the driver’s age, BAC, previous DWI convictions, and whether injury or death occurred during the incident.
The penalties of DWI offenses vary from state to state. A(n) DWI lawyer in Texas will be able to explain these variations which include (1) harsher punishments for those arrested with BAC limits over .08, (2) special laws for underage drivers arrested for DUI, (3) possible community service or plea bargaining, (4) overlapping jurisdiction of Courts and your state's motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license (5) contingent license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work.
A DWI lawyer can manage the criminal process completing the required forms; making phone calls; scheduling and/or representing an individual at a Motor Vehicle Department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements.
Only an experienced DWI lawyer will be able to explain the intricacies of DWI laws in Texas to determine the best resolution to each individual case. And they may be able to obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation and state law allows for it.
A lifelong resident of the Texarkana area, Charles Friday attended the University of Arkansas and later, The University of Tulsa, College of Law. After law school he served six years in the United States Army as JAGC officer, performing a variety of duties from assisting soldiers and their dependents with everyday legal concerns, to serving as a military prosecutor and defense counsel. While in the Army, he obtained a great deal of courtroom experience that has continued to serve him well in his civilian practice.
After getting out of the Army, he has practiced in the Texarkana are for thirteen years. In that thirteen years he has practiced in a many different areas and now practices in a sole practitioner in a general practice primarily focused on family law, criminal law, wills and probate. However, based on his wide experience, he is able to handle most legal issues that you may face.
Married with one child, he is a family man who understands your needs and who will work hard and aggressively to get you the best results with whatever legal problem you face.