Friday, April 26, 2013

Federal IID Bill Could Affect Texas DWI Law

The Drunk Driving Repeat Offender Prevention Act (DDROP), proposed by New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg this past December, could affect the way DWIs are punished in all 50 states. While states are not required to adopt the legislation, if passed the law says the federal government could withhold federal transportation funding from them. This same tactic was successfully used by Lautenberg to get all 50 states to move their drinking ages to 21 and to lower their minimum blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08. If passed, it's likely Texas will comply. How will this new legislation affect Texas DWI Law?

What's an IID?
DDROP requires that all drivers convicted of drunk driving have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle for at least six months. An IID is essentially a small breath analyzer that interacts with a car's ignition. They are sometimes referred to as a "deep-lung breath analysis mechanism" or a "breath alcohol ignition interlock device." The device requires the driver to blow into a straw before the car will start. The IID measures the driver's blood alcohol level and, based on the result, either allows the car to start or prevents the intoxicated driver from driving.

How Effective are IIDs?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have studied the effectiveness of IIDs and have found them to be effective. They found IIDs reduce repeat DWI arrests by 73 percent. 

How Does the Bill Affect Texas?
Texas already uses IIDs, but it's usually up to the judge's discretion. There are some situations where it is mandatory, such as if it's a person's second offense or if the defendant is under 21. Under DDROP, every DWI conviction would require the use of an IID regardless of whether it was a first offense, if someone was hurt or killed, what the driver's blood alcohol level was or any other factors.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other advocacy groups are pushing this legislation hard. Currently, only 10 states have IID requirements that meet DDROP standards. Law enforcement estimates it would cost the state $7 to $12 million to monitor the IIDs required under the new legislation. However, Texas is a large state with thousands of miles of roadways. The financial implications of not complying, and losing federal transportation money, could prove to be greater than non-compliance. Thus, it's likely Texas will adopt DDROP if the Senate and House pass it.

The legislation is currently in the House. We'll keep a close watch on how it develops. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

There are defenses against a DWI blood alcohol level

Aside from a breathalyzer test most accused DWI offenders are given a blood test at the police station. There are a number of factors to consider when a blood sample is taken from an accused DWI driver.
First, your skin must be sterilized with something other than alcohol. As the needle is pushed through the skin it may catch some of the surface alcohol. This small detail can cause a false positive when there is none.
Secondly, was the person drawing the blood following procedures? How experienced was the health care worker.

Next, when the lab took the sample were there enough anticoagulants and preservatives in the vial? If not there could be a chance for the blood to ferment and make its own alcohol. This error could also cause a false positive.

Additionally, mistakes can be made all along the process of the blood draw. Was the sample labeled properly? Could it have been mixed up with another person's blood? After the blood was taken from your body was it stored properly? Is there a written record of everyone who had access to the blood?
Lastly, alcohol takes time to be absorbed by the body. Every one's blood circulation system is unique and absorbs alcohol differently. Your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) may not have been high when you were driving but, as time passed your system may have absorbed the alcohol causing an altered BAC reading than when you were behind the wheel.

If you are charged with a DWI and a blood test or BAC test is taken you need an attorney. The attorneys at The Martinez Law firm have years of experience in defending DWI cases. It is imperative that you have a strong and knowledgeable voice in the legal arena. Don't walk into court alone, talk to one of the attorneys at the Martinez Law Firm

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Getting Convicted for a Drunk Driving Charge is no Joke

In the past, drunk driving was treated just like a traffic stop. These days, driving while intoxicated is taken much more seriously and is not tolerated. M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and other anti drunk driving organizations have had a major impact on how DUI's are treated. M.A.D.D. played a major role in the decision that congress passed to drop the legal blood alcohol limit from .10 to .08.

Nobody can ever blame the people who dedicate their lives to fight drunk drivers. On March 30, 2013, in Nevada, a California family from Los Angeles lost five family members because of a drunk driver on Interstate 15. The drunk driver crashed into the back of the family van causing it to spin around and overturn. Four adults and one teenage girl were ejected from the van and pronounced deceased at the scene. A woman and a teenage boy survived and left the scene in critical condition. Occurrences like this are the reasons that the law takes DWI charges so seriously. With all of that said, nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. Making bad decisions is a part of life, and most of us learn from our mistakes. Sometimes, we choose to learn the hard way. Besides hurting other drivers while drinking and driving, a DWI charge can have a major impact on your life. Future career choices that you may want to peruse are jeopardized. A conviction can also be charged as a felony in certain circumstances . Driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated is no joke and should never be taken as something minor.

If you were arrested for drunk driving, it does not necessarily mean that you were guilty of the crime. Most people assume that there is no defense against a DWI charge. They go on ahead and plead guilty to the crime, and accept the conviction. They do not even take the time to view their arrest video with their attorney.

If you have been charged with a DWI, you will want to get legal representation as soon as possible. Getting convicted for drunk driving can have serious consequences such as jail time, expensive fines, probation, community service, revocation of your driver’s license and other severe penalties.

It must be remembered that the prosecution must prove two things. They must prove that you were driving and that you were intoxicated. They carry the burden of proving that you are guilty of the alleged crime. The Martinez Law Firm can represent you with a strong defense strategy. Every case is different, and we will need to know all the details about your case. By hiring an experienced lawyer to represent you in court, you will get the best outcome possible.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Driving While Intoxicated Conviction Has Far Reaching Effects

After someone has been convicted for Driving While Intoxicated the problems aren't over after the probation has started in essence the “real world” trouble has just started.

For example you and your team of salespeople just signed one of the biggest contracts your company has ever closed. You decide to go out and celebrate with them and have a few drinks. Realizing it is past 11 o’clock on a week night the team disperses for a good night sleep and everyone heads home.

After an innocent night of celebrating the unthinkable happens, you are pulled over. After a FST (Field Sobriety Test) you are arrested for driving under the influence and put in jail.

Once on your record, that one DWI arrest may follow you everywhere. First, your insurance rates will skyrocket; both auto and life. Next, your driver’s license may be suspended and most states require alcohol education classes. These classes are mandatory and telling your boss you need time off to attend these classes is putting your current job at risk, regardless of how great an employee you have been.

You will have to depend on either public transportation or the kindness of friends and family to get you to and from work. If you are in sales you probably depend on your car to get you to and from appointments and business meetings. If your license is gone your job may be also. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

Most employers do a background check when hiring. The DWI charge will come up and it will automatically put you in a compromised position with your future employer. If and when you attempt to get a loan for a new home or car if the lending agency can find any reason to increase your interest rate, the DWI will likely be number one the list.

Hiring an attorney to represent you in court is the not just the first thing you can do; it is the best thing you can do. An attorney will examine all the facts of the case and be an educated and equipped voice in the courts. An attorney may be able to help save your driver’s license and/or get your drunk driving case dismissed. For more information on how to get help with a DWI contact us.