The DWI breath test in Texas is one of the most common ways to charge a driver with being under the influence of alcohol. Although it gives a reading that indicates whether a driver is drunk, there are factors that can unfairly influence the test.
Some of these may relate to problems with the equipment. Or medical conditions and ways the test itself is conducted may have a bearing on the result.
Here are five factors to be considered that may impact the DWI breath test in Texas.
We assume police officers know how to administer a breath test but this may not always be the case. Breath test instruments may malfunction.
Breath machines respond to temperatures and will provide inaccurate readings if not calibrated to adjust to changes in ambient temperature.
An officer should observe the suspect for a period of time before administering a test. This is to make sure the suspect does not do anything to skew the result such as vomiting, smoking or belching. Typically, this should be about 15 minutes.
A suspect may have other sources of mouth alcohol that affect a breath test. DWI breathalyzers capture a sample of breath from the suspect’s deep lung tissue.
Residual alcohol can linger in the suspect’s mouth due to dental work that traps small amounts of food soaked in alcohol in the suspect’s teeth or acid reflux.
Burping or regurgitating can also impact the test. These factors may be particularly important when borderline results are returned.
Medical conditions like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), acid reflux, or heartburn can contaminate and skew DWI breath test results. These conditions can all create potential mouth alcohol situations.
If you suffer from one of these conditions a flow of acid travels from the stomach to the mouth. When this occurs during or prior to a DWI breath test in Texas, the alcohol that travels from your stomach to your mouth masks the deep lung air that the breathalyzer measures.
Your diet may impact a breath test reading. Conditions that can skew a reading include diabetes and hypoglycemia. These conditions can trick a DWI breath test and result in a false high BAC as well as Atkins-type diets.
There are situations in which you may not have been driving drunk but the test will show a blood/alcohol content above 0.08 percent.
A rising blood/alcohol situation occurs when your BAC was a higher level at the time you took the test than when you were behind the wheel.
Alcohol can take between 50 minutes and three hours, to absorb into your system. You may not have been drunk when you were driving but you were at the time of the test.
Given that the test is meant to find out if you were drunk when you were actually driving, this may be a false high BAC result.
The DWI breath test it is not always an accurate measure. Rather than measuring the amount of alcohol in your blood, it gauges the amount of alcohol in your breath and converts it to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood.
A breath test can be vulnerable to many outside influences. At the Medlin Law Firm, our experienced Fort Worth DWI/DUI defense lawyers can bring to light these inaccuracies and use them in your defense. Please call us today for a free consultation about your case .