Whether or not the defendant provides a chemical sample, the Field Sobriety Tests are important in DWI cases.
Most states legalized DWI checkpoints in the 1990s. Generally, these checkpoints are legal, as long as they meet certain requirements. One such requirement is specific legal authorization from the state's legislature.
Drivers' license suspension is perhaps the worst collateral effect of a DWI. However, contrary to popular myth, arrest-related drivers' license suspension is neither automatic nor mandatory. That's assuming the defendant requests an Administrative License Revocation hearing. At the ALR hearing, the state must prove specific facts to impose license suspension.
The conviction rate in DWI chemical test cases is about twice as high as the conviction rate in non-test cases. Even still, only about 20 percent of DWI defendants refuse to provide a breath or blood sample.
During the early years of the DWI crackdown, Texas lawmakers amended Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. Under these new amendments, people who have a BCA above the legal limit are intoxicated as a matter of law.
Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have developed a saliva test which determines the level of marijuana in a person's system.
About twenty years ago, Texas lawmakers approved a per se DWI law. Before the legal change, a BAC level above the legal limit was a presumption of intoxication. Now, people with a BAC over the limit may be intoxicated as a matter of law. Not surprisingly, the DWI conviction rate increased significantly.
In the early and mid-1990s, peace officers substantially increased the number of drunk driving arrests. Today, there are over 1.4 million DWI arrests every year. That's almost 1 percent of the licensed drivers in the United States. In certain situations, peace officers are even more aggressive than normal in this area.