When it comes to matters related to driving while intoxicated, Texas motorists do not have to worry about checkpoints, as they are illegal under most circumstances. However, the same cannot be said about reasonable suspicion.
Drivers need to be aware of how much alcohol they consume before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, alcohol-related crashes are most likely to occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
An increasing number of motorists in Texas and across the United States may be driving under the influence of marijuana. At the same time, however, the number of drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol has shown a strong downward trend.
Although some states have legalized the use of marijuana, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Texas and across the country. Despite the wording of the law, it is much more difficult to prove a marijuana DUI compared to one involving alcohol.
A 32-year-old woman told an officer that she had been drinking "a lot" before she was driving home from a friend's house during the early morning hours of Feb. 25. At about 2:35 a.m, authorities had been called to an accident at an intersection in Lubbock. According to a witness, the woman's SUV was going north on Indiana Avenue when it collided with a blue Ford Fiesta going west.
Texas motorists who have ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles may be less likely to cause a fatal drunk driving accident. According to a study that appeared in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine", fatal crashes in which at least one driver had a blood alcohol content over the limit were reduced 7 percent when mandatory interlock laws were in place. It is estimated that around 1,250 lives have been saved since 1993.
In Texas, as in many other states, it is illegal for you to drink and drive if you are under the age of 21. The state uses your blood alcohol concentration level to determine if you are driving while intoxicated. If there is any amount of alcohol in your system that can be detected, you could be charged with DWI. You will also run afoul of the law if you are found to have an open can of beer or bottle of alcohol on the passenger seat of your car. In short, alcohol and driving do not mix, and if you think otherwise, you could be in for some serious legal difficulties.
Lawmakers in Texas passed a medical marijuana bill in 2016, but the recreational use of the drug remains illegal in the state. States including California, Colorado and Washington have approved recreational marijuana use, presenting law enforcement agencies across the country with a serious challenge. While field sobriety, breath and blood tests are scientifically proven ways to detect alcohol impairment, there is currently no reliable method police can use to determine whether an individual is under the influence of marijuana.
If there is one device or object that has become synonymous in people's minds with driving under the influence, it is likely to be the portable breath testing device. These hand-held units have become almost ubiquitous for law enforcement, along with their larger and more rigorous counterparts housed in police stations around the country. As more data is gathered on their operation and use, it's becoming apparent that they are not as accurate as was once believed.
Texas motorists may find it interesting to learn that the U.S. drunk driving rate fell to a 13-year low in 2014, according to statistics released by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Meanwhile, the number of people driving while under the influence of drugs also dipped slightly.