Infowars founder and known conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was arrested in Travis County on a charge of driving while intoxicated. The thing is, his BAC was .076 and .079, just a hair below the per se illegal intoxication mark. This high-profile arrest exemplifies how a person can be arrested for a DWI in Texas even when his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) level is less than .08%. Here's what happened in Jones' case and what you should know.
How Did Alex Jones Get Arrested in Texas When His BAC Was Below 0.08 Percent?
According to CNN, the police stopped Alex Jones after a
caller had said there was a "disturbance between her and her husband," and that he had driven off and was possibly drinking.
The officer apparently stated that when he
stopped the car driven by Jones, 46, and with the plate number given by the caller, he "detected a strong odor of alcohol."
Then, a couple of things happened:
- Jones admitted to drinking alcohol at a restaurant earlier in the evening with his wife.
- Jones was asked to conduct field sobriety tests, which he did and then failed the one-leg stand and the walk and turn test.
- Jones was requested to provide a breath sample, which he did twice, each time blowing just under .08 percent.
With these things occurring, he was arrested, booked, and released on bail for $3,000.
What Should You Do If Arrested in Plano, TX & Your BAC Was Below 0.08 Percent
Alex Jones was upfront and honest with the officers who pulled him over, but that transparency may have made him vulnerable to the arrest. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation or for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, then you may want to consider the following.
- You do not need to provide any information to the officer but identifying information like your driver's license, the vehicle registration card, and auto insurance. Any kind of admission of consuming alcohol or drugs will do two things: (1) immediately create a foundation of suspicion that you are driving while intoxicated; and (2) provide evidence to the prosecutor if a DWI charge is brought against you.
- You do not need to agree to perform field sobriety tests. To perform them or not is up to you, and it's really a catch-22. To perform them, you willingly give evidence to the police. Not performing them gives the police some reason to believe you are intoxicated.
- You can refuse to blow into a preliminary breathalyzer, but there is a real cost to refusal. First, the officer will request a warrant for a blood test, and blood tests are more accurate than breath tests. Second, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for 180 days for a first-time offense as punishment for violating what's referred to as the "Implied Consent" law, i.e., you agreed to obey the laws of the road when you received your Texas driver's license.
Regardless of how you wish to respond during a police DWI traffic stop in Texas, you need to know you have options. Think about these things before the next time you go out and have a drink with friends. In light of the coronavirus crisis, this may be a while... but it is still worth considering.
And if you are arrested, like Alex Jones was, you can fight the DWI charges. These types of cases can be won, but your best chances at winning involve not voluntarily giving evidence to the police and contacting an experienced DWI attorney who knows how to put forth a strong defense.