Brian White | December 28, 2023 | DUI
It’s common in many states for the police to set up DUI checkpoints. These are usually placed in high-volume areas at times when people are expected to be drinking, like near nightclubs on a Friday night. However, checkpoints have a unique legal status in Texas.
Here’s what you need to know about Houston DUI checkpoints and how they can impact your injury compensation.
What Are Houston DUI Checkpoints?
DUI checkpoints are set up by police in an effort to discourage drunk driving on city roads. Checkpoints are most likely to be found on days when lots of people consume alcohol, like on major holidays or after a big sporting event.
However, what’s interesting about DUI checkpoints in Houston – and other cities in the Lonestar State – is that, technically, they’re illegal. Back in 1991, Texas courts ruled that DUI checkpoints were unconstitutional. The reason provided was that the police officers at these checkpoints were essentially conducting unreasonable search and seizure without having probable cause.
How DUI Checkpoints Can Impact Injury Compensation
Police use these checkpoints as a means of monitoring the apparent sobriety of drivers on the road. If a driver appears to be driving erratically or recklessly, it gives the police probable cause to pull them over and check for intoxication.
If a drunk driver is arrested at a DUI checkpoint, an experienced lawyer might be able to overturn the arrest if they can prove that the police stopped the vehicle without cause. While this might be good news for a drunk driver hoping to escape legal consequences for driving under the influence, it can lead to serious issues for other people involved.
For example, if you’ve been hurt in a Houston DUI car accident, you might need proof that the other driver was intoxicated if you want to establish negligence and hold them liable for the damage. This could be more difficult to do if the evidence against the drunk driver is thrown out during the associated criminal proceedings.
However, keep in mind that civil and criminal claims are distinct; these circumstances likely wouldn’t automatically preclude you from taking legal action.
When To Call a Houston DUI Injury Lawyer
DUI checkpoints help discourage drunk driving. However, the police don’t patrol every road all the time. Despite efforts to crack down on drunk driving in the city, plenty of intoxicated drivers choose to drive around on Houston city streets.
If you end up injured by a drunk driver in Houston, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover injury compensation. However, it’s important to act quickly.
To prove that a crash was caused by an intoxicated driver, you might need to first prove that they were under the influence at the time of the accident. A lawyer can work to gather the necessary evidence on your behalf and follow through with your best legal course of action.
When you know how to respond after you’re injured in a DUI crash, you’re better able to protect your finances and your future.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You With Your Claim
For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000
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Houston, TX 77098
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