Dallas Cowboys: Defensive Lineman Ratliff Arrested For DWI

Drunk driving allegations have plagued the Dallas Cowboys for the last month. On December 8, a crash killed one player and left another facing intoxication manslaughter charges. The two players were close friends.

This week, defensive lineman Jay Ratliff allegedly crashed his pickup truck while driving drunk. According to authorities, 31-year-old Ratliff "sideswiped" a semi-truck in an area northwest of Dallas.

While the crash did not injure anyone, police responded to the scene and conducted a field sobriety test. Ratliff failed the test and officers took him to a city jail. After Ratliff refused to give a breath test sample, police took advantage of streamlined warrant procedures to require him to submit to a blood test instead. The results of that test are still pending. Ratliff faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail. 

Police officers and prosecutors have a number of options at their disposal when investigating drunk driving cases. In addition to the field sobriety tests that many officers use to make an initial determination about whether a driver is intoxicated, authorities can use breath tests and blood samples to preserve more objective proof. Many defendants choose to refuse breath tests - but many Texas law enforcement agencies have judges standing by to issue the necessary search warrants to require them to submit to blood tests.

Regardless of the test methods used, an experienced attorney can help Dallas defendants fight DWI charges and seek a fair resolution to each case.

Source: New York Daily News, "Dallas Cowboys Jay Ratliff arrested on suspicion of drunk driving less than a month after teammate Jerry Brown killed in Josh Brent's drunk driving accident," Associated Press, Jan. 23, 2013

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