Friday, December 3, 2010

DWI Lite: here we go

From the Houston Chronicle we find the real reason why Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is pushing for DWI Lite:

Acevedo didn't propose a penalty. A first offense of driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor.
Whitmire said Acevedo told him the idea was largely "to give people an opportunity to plead down to something."
First-time offenders may often agree to a lesser offense in a plea bargain, and the talking points submitted by Acevedo said, "This makes much more sense than reducing a charge to reckless driving or obstructing the roadway."

Just another tool to coerce motorists to plead guilty to a criminal offense because it's "not a DWI." Mr. Acevedo should be very much aware that anytime a person has a prior conviction for reckless driving or obstruction of a highway, the person was (far more often than not) charged with driving while intoxicated.

According to Texas law, and the laws of most states, a person is considered intoxicated if they have an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher or if they have lost the normal use of their mental or physical faculties.  The number .08 is just that -- a number. It just so happens that some folks are fortunate enough to blow under the limit when they submit to a breath test. It's the prosecutor's bad luck that they have to try a case with a test result indicating the driver wasn't per se intoxicated.

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