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8 things you must know about drunk driving charges

Drunk driving charges are sometimes thought of as nothing more than inconveniences. This isn't at all the case. These charges are very serious, so you must ensure that you are ready to fight back against them.

There are several things that you should know if you are facing drunk driving charges. Consider these eight points:

#1: The reasonable suspicion requirement is easy to meet

In order to initiate a traffic stop, the officer must only meet the standard of reasonable suspicion. This means that the officer has to have a reason to think that you are breaking the law. This can be because you are showing signs of intoxication like swerving or because you violated a traffic law. Even something as seemingly minor as a broken tail light can meet this standard.

#2: Not all field sobriety tests are standardized

Standardized field sobriety tests are used to gauge the likelihood of intoxication. While many different tests are possible, only three are standardized field sobriety tests. They are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn, and one-leg stand. Any other methods can't be considered as part of the standardized test.

#3: Blood-alcohol concentration matters greatly

Your blood-alcohol concentration percentage matters. This percentage can determine what type of charge you will face. The legal limit for most drivers in Texas is .08 percent.

#4: The actions of the police officers can impact your defense strategy

Police officers must respect your rights. If the officer doesn't do this, you can use the civil rights violation as a component of your defense.

#5: Charge enhancements are possible in some cases

You face more serious penalties if you have a child in the car with you or if you cause a crash that injures or kills someone.

#6: The consequences are varied and serious

The consequences for a drunk driving conviction range from fines to time in prison. Administrative penalties, such as a driver's license suspension are possible. Each conviction after a first conviction has more serious penalties than the previous one.

#7: Refusing to take a breath test is legal but has consequences

The implied consent law means that you have the right to refuse to take a breath test to determine your blood-alcohol concentration. Refusing to take the test means that you will face penalties for that refusal.

#8: Age and license type matter in these cases

Drivers who are younger than 21 years old and commercial drivers have lower limits. Any detectable amount of alcohol is illegal for an underage driver. Any amount over .04 percent is illegal for a commercial driver.

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