If the police have reasonable suspicion that you are driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will pull you over for investigation. Whether you believe their action is justified or not, it is important that you respectfully cooperate with their directive during the stop.
A police stop, under any circumstance, can be frightening. However, it is important that you obey a lawful order. Even if you had drinks before hitting the road, this may not mean that you will be charged with DWI.
What amounts to eluding police?
According to Texas Penal Code, you commit a criminal offense when while operating a motor vehicle, you willfully fail or refuse to stop the vehicle and instead flee or attempt to elude a pursuing law enforcement officer despite the existence of a visual and/or audible signal to stop.
Penalties for eluding the police during a DWI stop
Typically, fleeing or eluding the police is considered a Class B misdemeanor. However, you could face a Class misdemeanor charge if, while eluding the police, you recklessly exposed someone else to the danger of serious bodily harm. You can also be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if you were intoxicated at the time of the stop.
For a Class B misdemeanor conviction, you could serve up to 18 months behind bars on top of a fine of $2,000. If you are convicted for a Class A misdemeanor, however, you might be locked up for up to one year and fined $4,000. These penalties are on top of what you will face when convicted of drunk driving.
Drunk driving is a serious offense with severe consequences. If you are charged with DWI or eluding arrest, it is in your best interest that you explore your legal options so you can effectively defend yourself.