According to police records, a Texas high school’s athletic director and football coach allegedly passed out inside his vehicle in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant around 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 12. He was taken into custody and charged with driving while intoxicated. The coach reportedly refused to submit to a field sobriety test. He was booked on DWI charges, and the officers obtained a warrant for a blood test.
Employees reportedly called for police assistance after being unable to rouse the coach, whose truck was idling at the drive-thru window of the fast-food restaurant. Officers claim that when they arrived, they opened the door of the coach’s truck and turned the engine off. While they did this, the officers reportedly smelled alcohol inside the vehicle. They also allegedly observed that the coach had put his sandals on the wrong feet. The coach was placed on administrative leave with pay and was released on a bail of $1,000.
A DWI conviction can be extremely disruptive to a person’s life and future. The coach in this story has been placed on administrative leave, which may signal a career setback for him. In addition to personal and career setbacks, a conviction for drunk driving might result in a prison sentence, high fines, mandatory alcohol education, lost driving privileges and probation. In Texas, a refusal to submit to a breath test may be used against a defendant in court and might result in an 180-day license suspension.
Defense strategies may be based on a plea agreement or a defense argument presented at trial. A DWI defense lawyer may review a defendant’s case and make a recommendation regarding which strategy seems most appropriate.
One reason to choose a trial is if there appears to be a weak area in the prosecution’s case. For example, if the officer stopped a driver without probable cause, any DUI evidence may be inadmissible in court, and the case might be dismissed. In a case in which police did have probable cause, such as a driver passed out in a drive-thru window with the engine running, a better option might be a plea agreement that could result in reduced charges or penalties given the circumstances and the fact that nobody was injured or killed.