Many drivers don’t realize that passing a breath test may not get them off a DWI charge in Texas or elsewhere in the country.
Drivers who are charged with drunk driving should be aware that the reading from a breathalyzer which measures blood/alcohol content is just one of several kinds of evidence that can be used in court to judge impairment, reports FindLaw.
Passing the breath test does not guarantee acquittal. Nor does failing a breath test guarantee conviction, although man drivers mistakenly believe this to be the case.
Research carried out by the National Highway Traffic Administration noted as many as 20 symptoms that can indicate a driver is impaired.
Police cannot randomly stop a driver. These patterns often give a police officer a cause to pull a driver over. A driver may be weaving across the road, driving too slowly or driving in the wrong direction.
Police may not be able to make a compelling case for drunk driving from video evidence of your driving or the sworn testimony of a police officer, but this may serve as the basis for a DWI case.
You should also be aware that the statements you make to a police officer can incriminate you even if a breath test states your BAC is below 0.08 percent. If you say you had four drinks, for example, this can be highlight incriminating evidence. You have a right to decline to answer this question until you have spoken to your attorney.
You should not say you have not consumed any alcohol unless this is the case.
Police may also try to get you to take field sobriety tests. You should not agree to this. These tests are unscientific and may be used to claim you are impaired even if you pass a breath or a blood test.
The portable breath test equipment has several drawbacks. The results are not generally enough to convict without other evidence supporting intoxication.
The breathalyzer makes the assumption that the entire volume of air measured is from the driver’s lungs. Any alcohol trapped in the driver’s mouth or esophagus can skew the reading.
Alcohol can also be retained in dental work and can be trapped by gastric reflux disorder. Some products like mouthwash contain alcohol and can contribute to a false BAC reading. Here’s a list of household products that can impact a breath test.
Alcohol is not instantaneously absorbed into the bloodstream. BAC results can occasionally be refuted with a “rising BAC” defense.
Under this rationale, a test carried out an hour after an initial stop could indicate intoxication even though the alcohol had not been sufficiently absorbed when the driver was on the road, meaning he was not driving impaired. A driver may also sober up before a test. The arresting officer may still claim you were impaired at the time you were driving and point to evidence to back up his case.
In other words, the fact you pass a breath or blood test may not always prevent a DWI charge.
If you are charged with a DWI in Texas, you are likely to be facing a severe sentence. Please contact our experienced Tarrant County drunk driving defense lawyers today.