Driving While Intoxicated

Topics: Driving under the influence, Drunk driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Pages: 5 (1795 words) Published: June 13, 2013
Driving While Intoxicated Paper

Claudia Ortiz

Ms. Turner – GOVT 2302

Driving While Intoxicated Paper

As we all know driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be very dangerous for both the sober driver and the intoxicated driver. Some of us, if not all of us have seen, known, and even experienced someone driving while intoxicated. There have been stories about drunk drivers on the news and other types of media that shock society. . Many times, the outcome of driving while intoxicated cause irreparable damage to one or all involved in the incident. Fortunately, society is continues to work hard in doing what is best to stop and avoid DWI from becoming a growing problem and destroying more lives.

What does it mean to drive while intoxicated? When an intoxicated driver gets pulled over by law enforcement on a routine drunk driving stop, and the police officer suspects intoxication, a field sobriety test may be conducted. The driver must perform simple physical or cognitive tests to determine sobriety. A sobriety field test consist of quick exams to that notify the officer the officer of intoxication, and are known as the following: horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and the one leg stand (Standardized Field Sobriety Testing). If these tests are failed the driver is automatically taken into custody, their car will be towed, and will be handed documentation suspending their license for three months. Once in custody, a breathalyzer exam or a blood exam is also given to the driver.

Breathalyzer and blood exams are very important when dealing with someone who is suspected of DWI. These exams determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). In Texas, the BAC use to be at 0.10, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) contended that the level of intoxication permitted by states with .10 BAC laws allows for dangerously impaired driving, and that adopting the .08 BAC limit in every state will save over 500 lives each year (Katz). A law was later passed that contended that a BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered legally intoxicated (Services), and a BAC of .10 was now to be considered a driver completely impaired to drive. Therefore, BAC levels over 0.08 legally prove intoxication. These levels result in the driver facing charges and fees, in addition to the DWI charge which can be very financially draining.

Drivers who are proven to be DWI will need to attend a court hearing which is normally scheduled by the arresting officer. Once released, the driver will need to seek legal counsel because no option is given for court appointed attorneys. The judge will not handle any case in which the DWI offender is not being represented by legal counsel. If this is a first time offense, the judge will sentence your punishments which can consist of: community service being with a maximum of 100 hours to a minimum of 24 hours, one or two year probation, and being assigned to take treatment courses. Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, proposed Senate Bill 1266, on May 05, 2005. This bill was set out to make deferred adjudication available for DWI cases, and also was also made to have early probation release as an option for offenders. However, on May 06, 2011, MADD rushed over to the legislature and ran against this bill. They believed the offenders would keep committing the same offense due to them not being rightfully punished. "MADD opposes making DWI offender’s eligible for deferred adjudication because no evidence has been presented that shows deferred adjudication helps stop drunk driving," said Bill Lewis, the Public Policy Liaison for MADD Texas (MADD). Deferred adjudication has not been made available for DWI’s in Texas for over 20 years. The bill was never passed and was never pursued by Whitmire.

Financial burdens can easily accumulate when dealing with a DWI .The DWI offender, in addition to legal fees will also have to fulfill other fees and...
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