Just as in past years citizens should expect to see more officer’s out during this year’s holiday season specifically targeting intoxicated drivers. There will be a concerted effort by different police agencies to specifically target drivers who are suspected of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence.
Statewide stepped up enforcement efforts where announced by The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) yesterday for essentially the remaining portion of this year. [Press Release] Efforts by the DPS last year seem to have been frutiful as they made nearly 1,500 arrests during the 2014 holiday season in part to their stepped up efforts during the holiday season last year. [Press Release]
Stepped up enforcement efforts can also have potentially negative effects because officer’s tend to be more inclined to presume intoxication because (more…)
Last week Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst issued a directive to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to study sentencing in intoxication manslaughter cases.
Lt. Dewhurst notes that he has a personal interest in intoxication manslaughter cases, but this is also likely in direct response to the widely publicized case of a Texas teenager who recently killed four people in an accident in which he was intoxicated who received probation.
As the law currently stands the trial court judge or jury has complete discretion (within the relevant penalty range) to determine the punishment of someone facing intoxication manslaughter charges. Probation is option available to the judge or jury under most circumstances. It should not be the legislature’s job to second guess trial court’s decisions or to establish mandatory minimums irregardless of the underlying circumstances of each case that the trial court is in the best position to know.
You can read the entire story here.
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with an intoxication related offense you should immediately contact Attorney Matthew Gallagher. He can be reached by phone at (713) 893-4350 or by e-mail at [email protected].