Full Cooperation in DWI Investigation Leads to Innocent Man Being Arrested

I have heard police officer after police officer testify that a DWI client really is not arrested for DWI until the DA makes a decision to charge them with DWI.  My clients have told me that the police sometimes tell them, "It (the DWI arrest decision) is out of my hands, it's up to the DA."

Let's set the stage.  Client is pulled over for speeding on Loop 610 here in Houston.  The Houston Police officer approaches client and claims he smells alcohol.  He does the HGN and guess what - he sees 6 of 6 clues.  He then has the client do the walk and turn test and claims he observes 2 of 8 clues (video would show differently).  Client then was asked to do the One Leg Stand and scored a whopping 1 out of 4 clues (for those that don't know - that is a passing score).  After this terrible performance on the field sobriety tests, the officer arrests client and takes him to the jail.  By the way, there is no allegation of drug use in this DWI arrest.

Here is the kicker.  At the jail he asks for a breath test and again my client cooperates fully.  He blows a whopping .026 less than 45 minutes after he was "operating" his motor vehicle.  The legal limit is .08.  While I'm not a mathematician, I do know that .026 is a lot less than the legal limit of .08. 

Presumably, if the cops tell the truth on the witness stand (see first paragraph), the arresting officer called the district attorney's office to have the DWI charge approved.  I would like to assume that the police officer told the truth about the excellent performance on the field sobriety tests and the breath test.  I would also like to assume the prosecutor used his best judgment and made the call he thought was right.  I guess that is why we need jury trials?

So where does that leave us?

Innocent people are being arrested for DWI in Houston, Texas.

Civilians doing field sobriety tests, breath tests and arresting our citizens

According to a former Houston Police Department DWI task force member, HPD is in the process of hiring and training civilians to assist in Houston DWI investigations.  These civilian "helpers" will be trained to perform field sobriety tests and also trained to operate the breath test machines. 

This means these civilians, not police officers, will be aiding and making decisions to arrest our citizens.  Who do you think will be signing up and interviewing for the civilian positions?  Probably those people with the biggest ax to grind and those that are affiliated with MADD and other organizations like MADD.   FYI - this is not a criticism of MADD.  I'm just not sure we as citizens want people with an agenda making decisions to arrest our citizens. 

Based on my experience as a Houston DWI lawyer, it just doesn't pass the smell test to let civilians make these type of life altering (for the person arrested for DWI) decisions.  Even though we all know that cops are not always without bias, at least they have been to the police academy and are suppose to be neutral observers - not advocates.  What's next?  Are we going to let civilians start making traffic stops?  Drug raids?  Prostitution Stings?