Has COVID-19 Affected DWI Traffic Stops?

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging across the country, police officers have made fewer DWI and DUI arrests, and prosecutors have issued fewer charges. One reason why this has occurred is that fewer individuals have been driving on the roads – particularly at the beginning of 2020. However, as long as people continue to operate their vehicles while they are under the influence of alcohol, DWI and DUI enforcement in and around Austin will continue, and police officers will continue to make arrests when drivers break the law.

DWI and DUI convictions in Texas can have serious consequences and result in serious penalties. If you are ultimately convicted of one of these offenses, you could be looking at fines, community service, or even jail time. In addition, you will probably lose your driving privileges for a period of time.

If you have been charged with DWI or DUI following a traffic stop, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney on your side representing you throughout your criminal case. The experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC could help you formulate a legal defense to your criminal charge or work out a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor who is handling your case. Please give us a call today to learn more about how we could assist you with defending against your criminal DWI charge or negotiating with the state prosecutor for a favorable plea deal in your case.

Continuation of DWI Enforcement Throughout the Pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, DWI enforcement is still underway in and around Austin. Specifically, there are resources that are in place that allow for police officers to obtain search warrants quickly. These search warrants allow officers to obtain blood samples from drivers who are suspected of operating their vehicles while intoxicated – and who refuse to consent to a blood test. Judges are also available, most especially over the weekends and on holidays, to issue these warrants.

Open Container and Drunk Driving Violations

In addition, in March of 2020, the governor of Texas waived restrictions on picking up alcohol from restaurants while stay-at-home orders were in effect. When a restaurant provides the alcohol, it must be in a closed container, as opposed to an open container. Therefore, unsealed to-go cups containing alcoholic beverages will not work. Moreover, if a police officer spots an open container of alcohol in a person’s car during a traffic stop, the officer could charge the driver with an open-container violation – and sometimes even drunk driving.

Call an Experienced Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a criminal DWI or DUI, the experienced legal team at Granger and Mueller PC is ready to assist you with defending against your charge in court. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorney, please call us today at 512-474-9999 or contact us online for more information about how we could assist with your defense.