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Signs and Clues Law Enforcement Will Look for DWI's

The Torres Law Firm Sept. 7, 2023

When law enforcement officers suspect someone of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, they typically look for various signs and evidence to support their suspicion. As a Texas lawyer, RJ Torres, familiar with criminal defense, here are some of the things that cops often look for in DWI cases:

1. Erratic Driving Behavior: Police may observe erratic driving patterns, such as weaving between lanes, speeding, abrupt stops or turns, and driving too slowly, which can indicate impaired driving.

2. Traffic Violations: Officers may pull over a vehicle for common traffic violations, like running a red light or stop sign, as these can provide a basis for a DWI stop.

3. Odor of Alcohol or Drugs: Law enforcement officers will often check for the smell of alcohol or drugs on the driver's breath, clothing, or within the vehicle.

4. Bloodshot or Glassy Eyes: Bloodshot or glassy eyes can be indicative of alcohol or drug impairment, and officers may use this as a visual clue.

5. Slurred Speech: Impaired individuals may have difficulty speaking clearly or may slur their words, which can be noted by officers during interactions.

6. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs): Officers may ask the driver to perform standardized field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand tests, to assess physical coordination and balance.

7. Breathalyzer Test: If an officer has probable cause to believe a driver is intoxicated, they may request a breathalyzer test to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusing this test can result in legal consequences in Texas.

8. Statements and Behavior: Officers may take note of the driver's behavior, demeanor, and any incriminating statements made during the stop.

9. Containers: The presence of open alcohol containers in the vehicle can be used as evidence of DWI.

10. Witness Statements: If there are witnesses to the driver's behavior or actions, their statements can be considered as evidence.

11. Dashboard Camera Footage: Many police vehicles are equipped with dashboard cameras that record traffic stops, which can provide valuable evidence in DWI cases.

It's essential to remember that if you or someone you know is suspected of DWI, it's advisable to exercise your rights, remain polite, and consider seeking legal counsel promptly. As a lawyer familiar with Texas criminal defense, you may be well-versed in defending DWI cases and advising clients on their legal options.