When an officer suspects someone of impaired driving, they can’t just arrest them and drag them into jail. They need to first take steps to build a case showing that that person was driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Texas law enforcement officers will usually have to gather specific documentation in order to prove a DWI charge in court. There are two things that an officer must prove if they hope to secure a conviction.
Officers need to show that you were on public roads and in control of a vehicle
The officer will take notes regarding the location of the traffic stop or sobriety checkpoint where your arrest takes place. They will also take notes about the location of the vehicle and your position within the vehicle during their interaction with you.
These notes have to help the officer demonstrate to the court that you were in control of the vehicle and on public roadways while impaired.
Chemical tests and observations help demonstrate impairments
Another important issue that an officer must prove to the courts to secure a DWI conviction is that the individual arrested was actually under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the traffic stop or arrest.
Officers collect evidence for claims of impairment by documenting or recording someone’s performance during a field sobriety test. From observing involuntary motions in your eyes to your stability and ability to walk in a straight line, officers can show medical signs of likely impairment.
Officers can then use that field sobriety test as a reason to request a chemical breath test. That chemical breath test may show the presence of alcohol. If the driver refuses the breath test, officers can arrest the driver for violation of the state’s implied consent law. They can also make an arrest for suspected chemical impairment related to drugs and then secure a warrant to compel a blood draw for chemical testing purposes.