Drink, Drive, Go to Jail….that is NOT the law!

Recently, the Gregg County (Longview) sheriff made the proclimation that if you drink and drive this independence day weekend – you will go to jail.

In December 2006, Gregg County commissioners approved a grant to participate in the statewide “Drink, Drive, Go To Jail” campaign with the funding being provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.

This grant provides resources necessary to conduct DWI enforcement throughout the holiday periods to increase the arrests of folks that drink and drive.

Captain Ken Hartley with the Gregg County Sheriff’s Department says; “We’d just like to remind people to drive responsibly. Don’t drink and drive. Enforcement will be out there and it’s not worth that chance and certainly not taking a chance of hurting yourself or others.”

Well, here lies the rub….it is not against the law to drink and then drive as long as two things are true: 1) you are at least 21 years of age, and 2) you are not intoxicated. I believe that the Sheriff is setting up a great argument for the fact that people are going to be arrested that don’t meet the above criteria. The police and prosecutors always want to lower the standard, but it just isn’t the law. Another example of their attempt to shift the standard is the “Buzzed driving is Drunk Driving” billboards. Neither Buzzed driving, nor Drunk Driving is the standard…..Intoxication is. I certainly hope a defense attorney in Gregg County is paying attention to this and is willing to use this to show the juries there that THIS Sheriff’s deputies have the potential for making wrongful arrests.

While we all know the Austin Police practice a “Drink, Drive, Go to Jail” policy, the administration has been smart enough not to voice it publicly.

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