As in Michigan, it appears that in Texas DUI or OWI can be an “opinion crime,” one that leaves an innocent individual facing criminal charges based on a police officer’s opinion. In January of last year, Larry Davis was arrested by Austin police for driving while intoxicated, even though a Breathalyzer test indicated his BAC was 0.00. Blood tests also returned negative results some months later, according to news reports at Statesmen.com.
Daniel Betts, Davis’s attorney, said that Austin police made the wrong decision when they arrested his client that evening. After watching a police dash cam video of Davis performing field sobriety tests, Betts said that he was shocked that it happened. The criminal case loomed over Davis for an entire year; he also spent a day in jail, according to the report.
Police maintain that it was possible that Davis exhibited symptoms of intoxication due to drugs such as marijuana which may not have been revealed in the blood test. Essentially, police often make judgment calls which can result in innocent people facing serious consequences. Bett says that what happened in this situation demonstrates how Austin police can be overzealous in their efforts to make DWI arrests.
Police stopped Davis near Interstate 35 and U.S. 290 after he allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign. While Davis admitted he had consumed one drink, officers wrote in an arrest affidavit that based on the field sobriety test, he appeared intoxicated. Early last month, prosecutors dismissed the case against Davis who is still working to have his criminal record cleared.
In the state of Michigan an individual may be charged with OWVI, or operating while visibly repaired, regardless of breath/blood test results. If a police officer suspects an individual is impaired based on traffic violations or field sobriety tests, that individual may be arrested. Ultimately, this means a person who is convicted faces the same penalties as someone charged with DUI based on breath or blood tests which indicate a blood alcohol content of higher than 0.08%, Michigan’s legal limit. Those penalties include up to 93 days in jail, fines of up to $300, community service, driver’s license suspension, and more.
If you have been charged with OWVI or any drunk driving offense in Michigan, it is critical you consult with a skilled and aggressive DUI defense attorney who will fight the charge and work to secure positive results.