Drunk Driving – Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Cops are cracking down.
This is one of just many new slogans that are being used. (I blogged previously about the Drink, Drive, Go to Jail campaign).
Although I definitely prefer this campaign to the Drink, Drive, Go to Jail campaign, but I note one big problem with this campaign. As far as I know (and definitely in Texas), you are always arrested BEFORE there is any test to see if you are over the limit.
Let me explain….
A normal scenario for a DWI arrest goes like this: You are pulled over for speeding, or some other minor traffic infraction. The officer smells alcohol on your breath, and asks you to get out. He says something along the line of, "I just need to do some tests to make sure you are O.K. to drive." At this point, he will perform some Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. If the officer thinks you failed, Boom — You are under arrest.
So where does this over the limit, under arrest come in? You are already in handcuffs. You are then transported to jail, booked in, and taken to the "intoxilyzer room." It is only at this point when you are even given the chance to give a sample of your breath or blood…. So how does Over the Limit, Under Arrest even come in to play?? I’d say, It doesn’t.
Even if you blow under the legal limit, you are still already arrested, and at least in the three counties in which I practice (Collin County, Dallas County, and Denton County), you will still be charged with DWI under the other two definitions of intoxication.