DWI arrests are still taking place in Corpus Christi. People are still going to jail for driving under the influence of alcohol, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 2016 was a record year in terms of DWI arrests in the Coastal Bend. The police arrested 1,428 people for drunk driving in that year. The previous record was in 2014, which had 1,407 DWI arrests. Of the DWI arrests made in 2016, CCPD officials reported that:
- There were 14 arrests for “driving under the influence,” which means that the person being arrested was less than 21 years of age.
- There were 132 felony accusations, which included 86 DWI arrests with three or more previous convictions.
- There were 11 arrests for intoxicated assault, where someone was injured in a crash that was caused by an intoxicated driver.
- There 32 arrests for a DWI with a child passenger.
- There were 3 arrests for intoxicated manslaughter, where someone died in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver.
The police collected blood or breath samples for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) analysis from all of the 1,428 arrests except for five cases where that evidence wasn’t gathered. The average result for these analyses was a BAC level of .15, which is almost twice the legal limit of .08. There were 415 DWI arrests that involved a vehicle crash, so 1,013 of these arrests were made after an officer initiated a traffic stop.
Here are the number of DWI arrests for all the previous years:
- 2015 — 1,331 arrests.
- 2014 — 1,407 arrests.
- 2013 — 1,203 arrests.
- 2012 — 1,036 arrests.
- 2011 — 900 arrests.
- 2010 — 979 arrests.
- 2009 — 784 arrests.
- 2008 — 847 arrests.
- 2007 — 768 arrests.
- 2006 — 896 arrests.
- 2005 — 859 arrests.
This clearly shows a steady increase leading up to 2016, and there continues to be a large number of DWI arrests in Corpus Christi.
Common Defenses Against a DWI in Corpus Christi
You may have heard all kinds of stories about how to beat a DWI charge (such as sucking on a penny or breath mint after you have been pulled over), but these tactics have been repeatedly proven to be ineffective. Instead of relying on urban legends and “old wives’ tales” to avoid a DWI conviction, a more effective strategy is to come up with a good defense. Here are some of the common defenses you can use against a DWI in Corpus Christi:
- Improper stop by the police — It’s against Federal Law for police officers to stop or pull over a private citizen without “reasonable suspicion.” The officer needs to have more than a hunch or “gut feeling” that someone is or has committed a crime. With regard to a DWI or any traffic stop, the officer must actually see you do something wrong. If you were obeying all traffic laws, your vehicle wasn’t malfunctioning, or didn’t give any indication that you were driving while intoxicated, you might be able to argue that the officer didn’t have cause to pull you over.
- Failure to follow proper field sobriety test protocols — Officers need to follow certain protocols while they’re administering field sobriety tests (FST’s). If they don’t follow these procedures, any evidence they gathered from the test can be suppressed (especially if they were disrespectful, overly intimidating, or behaved in a manner that’s considered inappropriate).
- Improper testing and storage of blood alcohol samples — The police must have the blood-alcohol analysis performed by a trained and licensed phlebotomist as soon as possible after they have made the arrest. If there was an unreasonable wait time or the test was performed by an untrained laboratory technician, they could be used as a way to contest the results. The police must also make sure that blood samples are properly maintained after the test so it doesn’t become contaminated or accidentally mislabeled. If there are doubts about the integrity of the sample, it could get thrown out.
- Medical conditions — Certain medical conditions can not only create the appearance of drunkenness but can also affect the results of a breathalyzer test. Neurological problems and even fatigue can cause slurred speech, while other conditions (such as allergies and sinus problems) can cause watery eyes. An “alcohol smell” on someone’s breath can be caused by a diabetic side effect (called “ketosis”), which is caused by the fermentation of glucose in the blood stream and can cause even a sober person to fail a breathalyzer test.
If you’re looking for the best DWI lawyer in Corpus Christi to help you with your case, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.