People can be charged with a DWI if an officer thinks that the person has lost the normal use of their mental faculties or physical faculties. If the officer thinks that alcohol has caused the person any type of lapse in their judgment, or any type of loss in their motor skills.
When people ask me if they should do a blood test or a breath test, for the most part, I would say that taking a breath test is easier to defend than taking a blood test. Definitely refusing to take a blood or breath test is probably the best decision to make.
If someone is charged with a DWI, and they have a child passenger – which is someone under the age of 15 – that can take the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony instantly. There are two phases to a DWI case. Essentially, the criminal charge is to determine whether or not you were driving under the influence.
The civil case really revolves around someone’s driver’s license and whether their license is going to be suspended for up to six months. If someone that has a commercial driver’s license is arrested for a DWI, that can cost them their job because either insurance companies or employers will not let someone drive if they’ve been convicted of a DWI. Usually, it’s because of liability issues.