You know you've had a few drinks, but you're pretty sure you can still drive. So you grab the 10 and 2, put the cellphone away, hyperfocus on driving perfectly, and check all the boxes:
Drive in the middle of the lane - check
Come to a complete stop at every stop sign - check
Use your indicator at every turn - check
BUT YOU WERE STILL ARRESTED for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas. What gives? Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals has reaffirmed an exception that allows a peace officer to stop a car when the driver has done no wrong, if a passenger in the car needs medical attention. In Byram v. State, the Court held that where a passenger is keeled over in a vehicle, the smell of alcohol is emitting from the car, and neither the passenger nor driver respond to questions asking about the condition of the passenger, the police officer may conduct what is called a community caretaking stop. There is no additional requirement that the officer have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to pull over the driver. So for all you drivers in Austin, Texas and elsewhere, please be aware that even if you know you are driving perfectly, and even if those drinks made you “focus more on the road”, there are situations where you can still be pulled over. If you are ever charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Texas, call the Austin DWI lawyers of Salek & Garcia so that we can figure out if the traffic stop was lawful, if the arrest was lawful, and if we can get your charges reduced or dismissed. Having a DWI lawyer on your side goes a long way in reducing the headache of criminal charges.