Motion to Suppress Granted – DWI Case Dismissed

This morning, I had a hearing on a motion to dismiss in Bexar County – County Court 2. My client was charged with DWI with a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher. The judge granted the motion to suppress, and the case was dismissed this morning. 

My client was driving home at midnight on a Thursday night. An officer was behind him and pulled him over for failing to maintain a single lane. Last year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals came out with a case clarifying that traffic violation. It’s only illegal to fail to maintain a single lane if there’s a safety risk. In my client’s case, the officer’s report didn’t mention any safety risk. On the dashcam, you could see that my client was driving on a road with few other cars. He’s not speeding, he doesn’t come close to hitting any other cars, and he doesn’t come close to hitting a wall or creating any other safety risk. I didn’t think the officer had reasonable suspicion to believe that my client was breaking the law, so I filed a motion to suppress.

We had the hearing this morning. The facts were pretty straightforward since we were only contesting the officer’s right to detain my client. There was just over a minute and a half of video before the officer turned on his lights to pull my client over.

During that time, there was only one other car near my client. He passed my client without incident. My client does weave within his lane and slightly out of the lane, but there’s no safety risk. 

The state argued that there was a safety risk because other cars were on the road. Their main argument was that even if there was no traffic violation, an officer could pull someone over if they suspected that person of driving while intoxicated. The cases that they cited all had more reason to believe that the driver was intoxicated. In one case, the officer pulled someone over for driving 20 mph in a 40 mph zone. In another case, the court mentioned that the driver was swerving so much that other drivers were not passing him.

Judge Saenz held that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull my client over. She held that my client did not create a safety risk by failing to maintain a single lane. She also held that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to believe my client was intoxicated. This means everything that came after the stop would not come in: field sobriety tests, admissions, and blood results.

The prosecutors acted professionally, and I think the judge made the right decision, given the law and the facts. The prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the case, and the judge signed it this morning. My client was happy, and it was the right outcome.

If you’re being charged with a DWI or another crime in San Antonio, use the link below to schedule a free consultation. I take pride in fighting hard for my clients and consistently getting good outcomes.

The Law

Texas Transportation Code Sec. 545.060.  DRIVING ON ROADWAY LANED FOR TRAFFIC.

(a) An operator on a roadway divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic:

(1)  shall drive as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane; and

(2)  may not move from the lane unless that movement can be made safely.

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Sean Henricksen

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