Penalties for DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) can be severe. In the state of Texas, you can receive a DWI if you drive with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08%, despite whether or not your ability to drive is impaired. Penalties can be serious; however, a defense attorney may be able to persuade the prosecuting attorney to drop or reduce the charges, prevent the suspension of your driver’s license, or possibly help you to receive an acquittal after a trial.
Consider the following case. Michael is a seventeen-year old athlete who attends high school in one of the smaller schools outside of Houston, TX. He is so excited about this school year because: 1). He is a senior about to graduate 2). He received a full-time scholarship to attend one of the prestigious universities in Texas and 3). He and his girlfriend, Michelle, are attending the senior prom, tonight. Life could not be better for Michael! Moreover, his father is allowing him to drive the brand new family car to the prom.
Michael prepares for the prom. He has washed and waxed the family car, and he has already purchased his outfit…a ravishing black and white tuxedo. In addition, he purchased the beautiful corsage for his girlfriend. Now, it is time for him to take a shower, shave, and put on his stunning tuxedo.
It has been a very busy week for Michael, and although he is super excited about the prom, he begins to feel a little sluggish. Despite this weary feeling, Michael finishes dressing and arrives at his girlfriend’s home. Her mother and father take pictures of the beautiful couple, hug them, and tell them to be safe. Michael and Michelle head to the prom. When they arrive, Michael and Michelle run into Brandon. Michael replaced Brandon as the star quarterback and although Brandon pretends as if it is not a big deal, deep down inside, he envies Michael. However, Michael is somewhat naïve and believes that Brandon’s friendship is sincere. As a result, Michael tells Brandon that he is feeling a little tired. Brandon pulls two bottles of vanilla abstract from his pocket and tells Michael to drink the liquids. He assures Michael that the vanilla abstract is safe and reminds Michael that grandmothers, mothers, and other great cooks use vanilla abstract in their dishes all the time. In addition, he tells Michael that vanilla abstract is used as a home remedy to boost energy and if mothers and grandmothers use it, it has to be safe. Michael is convinced and decides to drink both bottles of vanilla abstract. Immediately, he feels a boost of energy. Unfortunately, he does not realize that vanilla abstract contains a large percentage of alcohol. He does not know this, but Brandon does because he and is friends consume large quantities of vanilla abstract because they are too young to purchase alcohol, but they receive the same effects after guzzling down numerous bottles of vanilla abstract.
After Brandon succeeds in his devious act, he continues with the debauchery by convincing Michael to wash down the vanilla abstract with a glass of punch, knowing that he and his friends had spiked the punch with alcohol, earlier. Once again, Michael falls for the scam and ingests the spiked punch. In fact, Michael drinks several glasses of the punch throughout the night, of course, with the encouragement of Brandon.
Hours later, Michael and Michelle are headed home. All of a sudden, a siren sounds and a police car pulls up behind Michael and his girlfriend. Shocked, Michael immediately pulls over to the side of the road. When the cop approaches, he asks Michael to step out of the car. Confused, Michael obeys. The cop asks Michael if he had been drinking. Naturally, Michael denies the allegation, but his speech is slurred. After reviewing Michael’s license and registration, the police officer informs Michael that he drove through a stop sign and he was weaving in and out of his lane. Michael informs the officer that he had a long day and had just left his senior prom. Therefore, he is feeling a little tired, but the officer is not convinced. In fact, he asks Michael to walk the line, which requires Michael to walk a straight line, using heel-to-toe steps. Unfortunately, Michael stumbles and falls, failing this sobriety test. Convinced that Michael has been drinking, he arrests the young man, takes him to jail, and requires him to take a breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, the test reveals that the alcohol level in Michael’s system exceeds the legal limit.
Michael may be at risk of losing everything…his scholarship…opportunity to attend the college of his dreams…his clean record…etc. But wait one minute! Michael was not aware of the alcohol contained in the vanilla abstract or punch. Therefore, is he actually guilty? Well, according to the law, there is a defense to DWI or DUI charges, such as involuntary intoxication, which occurs when a person accidentally ingests alcohol, or ingests alcohol without knowing that he or she has consumed the intoxicating liquid. This can occur at a party when someone cunningly spikes the punchbowl, as was the case with Michael.
Fortunately for Michael, his parents hire an excellent criminal defense attorney. As a result, witnesses come forward and state that they witnessed Brandon and his friends spike the punch with alcohol, and they witnessed Brandon giving Michael the vanilla abstract and overheard Brandon state that the concoction was safe without informing Michael that the bottles of vanilla abstract contained large sums of alcohol. Consequently, the prosecuting attorney drops all charges against Michael.
Involuntary intoxication is only one of the defenses that are available to defense attorneys to assist offenders with DWI or DUI charges. I will do everything that I can to help you with your case. In numerous cases I have been successful in convincing the prosecuting attorney to either drop or reduce my clients charges. Call my office today to discuss which defense option is best for your DWI case.