Examining The Evidence: Uncovering What The Court Considers as Proof of a Texas DUI Second Offense:
DUI cases typically involve a multitude of evidence against you that proves quite difficult to defend, with only 15% of those who plead not guilty receiving a dismissal. If you’re facing a second DUI charge, knowing the potential evidence that can be used against you in court will not only help you understand your charges but can aid your lawyer’s defense strategy. Here are some things that can be considered evidence for a Texas DUI second offense charge and eventual conviction.
It is quite common for eyewitnesses to report a DUI to the police and initiate an investigation. Common eyewitness evidence of a DUI includes swerving, driving on the wrong side of the road, excessive speeding, failing to stop at an intersection, and even speech and movement patterns if a defendant was seen before entering their vehicle. If an eyewitness report leads to a DUI arrest, the prosecution will likely bring these witnesses to the stand to secure a conviction.
Whatever you say during a DUI traffic stop can and will be used against you. Nowadays, it is quite common for an officer to carry a body camera that will record everything that a defendant says and does during a DUI investigation. If an officer suspects a potential DUI, they will ask a defendant whether they have had anything to drink. Voluntarily confessing to drinking and driving is considered evidence for a Texas DUI second offense and is not covered by hearsay laws.
An officer will often use physical evidence from the scene of a traffic stop or accident as probable cause or reasonable suspicion to instigate a DUI investigation. Any car accident can be considered reasonable suspicion for a Texas DUI second offense. Additionally, if an officer spots an open container, bong, or pipe in your vehicle- even during a minor traffic stop for a broken tail light- this may be considered probable cause for a DUI accusation and additional charges.
If a defendant acts belligerent, slurs their speech, smells of alcohol, or has glossy eyes during a traffic stop they are likely to prompt a DUI investigation. Despite the potential for characteristics such as health issues, age, weight, and mobility to translate into signs of intoxication, certain physical characteristics have become a well-respected indicator of intoxication thanks to the field sobriety test.
Field Sobriety Tests:
A field sobriety test consists of three exams cosigned by The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration that examine a defendant’s balance and coordination for signs of intoxication. These tests include a one-leg balance, a horizontal gaze, and a walk-and-turn. Tests will generally observe your ability to follow directions and look for signs of swaying or imbalance, walking out of line or incorrectly counting, and involuntary eye or head movements respectively. While the results of a field sobriety test can be subjective and impacted by personal and environmental factors, they are very often considered in a DUI arrest and conviction.
Chemical Test Results:
If the results of a field sobriety test indicate intoxication, an officer will typically ask to administer a chemical test. Blowing into a breathalyzer is the quickest and most common chemical test, but an officer may also ask for a blood or urine sample. Any chemical test result showing a blood alcohol concentration above .08% is immediate grounds for a DUI arrest. Under the state’s Implied Consent Laws, refusing a chemical test when accused of a Texas DUI second offense will result in a driver’s license being immediately revoked for two years.
Consult With a DUI Lawyer Today!
Regardless of how much evidence is piled against you, an expert DUI lawyer can review the facts of your case and come up with a sound defense strategy. Given their common inaccuracies and lack of scientific basis, a lawyer can often attack the results of a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. Even the most solid evidence against you could have been obtained through an illegal traffic stop or without probable cause which can lead to it being suppressed. If you’ve been accused of a Texas DUI second offense, consult with a lawyer today to determine your options!