DUI and DWI charges are serious and intended to discourage future dangerous activity. The penalties for such charges may cost drivers their driving privileges.
Those looking to maintain their rights must be aware of the charges and what they entail. There are a few key facts to understand in regard to the charges.
Duty of the officer
When officers pull drivers over and suspect they are under the influence, the officers have the authority to request that the drivers take a sobriety test. Proper procedure requires that the officer inform the driver of the right to refuse the test. If an officer does not make this known, it may serve as grounds to dismiss the case.
Once a driver is under arrest, implied consent applies. In short, this means that once an officer arrests a driver, a sobriety test becomes a requirement. Those drivers who refuse the test while under arrest face very stiff penalties, including license suspension. It is important that drivers understand the distinction between being arrested and questioned, as well as the requirements by law. Knowing the differences can help them in making the best decision in their particular situation.
The Texas transportation penal code clearly states the penalties for DUI and DWI charges. Depending upon the number of charges drivers have, the range of penalties may vary. All guilty parties face administrative fees, and may also face a license suspension and possible jail time. First-time offenders usually get the lower penalties, with up to a 180-day license suspension. Those with more than one offense may face a license suspension up to two years, along with additional penalties.
This is a brief overview of important factors surrounding DUI and DWI testing and driver rights. Those facing such charges should take time to fully review the law and speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine the best course of action to protect their rights.