Submitted DWI Breath Test
Why did the police want a breath sample?
Texas law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. If your submitted DWI breath test is above this limit, the prosecutor will try to use it to prove that you were intoxicated while driving. This involves calling witnesses with scientific backgrounds as well as the operator of the machine to testify at trial. What the government does not want a jury to know about is that their “scientific expert” probably does not have a degree in forensic toxicology. They may not have ever worked on the machine you used. However, these witnesses, who are paid by the government, will likely come to court and testify that the machine was working fine when you gave your test based only on looking at documents.
What happens if my breath test sample was over 0.08?
If you are found guilty, you could spend up to 180 days in jail and/or pay a fine of up to $2,000 for your first DWI. Additionally, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will assess a surcharge of $1,000 a year for three years. The penalties also increase if you have previous DWI convictions. If your submitted DWI breath test was over 0.15 BAC, the maximum jail time and fine go up, and the DPS surcharge amount goes up to $2,000 per year. However, your case is not over just because of a number!
The Intoxilyzer machine used in Texas is unreliable and cannot be trusted. The machine makes assumptions that may not apply to you. The government does not keep the sample you provided even though there is an inexpensive device that can capture it for retesting. In addition, the person operating the machine may have made a mistake administering the test. Only a lawyer with experience taking submitted DWI breath test cases to trial will know what to look for while investigating your case.
Do I have to take a breath test?
Absolutely not. You have the right to refuse providing a sample of breath. Note, however, that this refusal can potentially cause other problems because the implied consent laws in Texas create civil consequences that can affect your ability to drive. For example, on a first DWI, refusing to provide a sample can lead to suspension of your driving privileges in Texas for 180 days.
Will I lose my driver’s license?
Texas law allows a judge to suspend your license if you are convicted of a DWI. Additionally, DPS can suspend an adult’s driver license for at least 90 days, if your breath sample came back at 0.08 or greater. If you had a previous alcohol or drug related suspensions within 10 years, DPS will try to suspend the license for one year. A lawyer with experience defending your rights against DPS may be able to keep this from happening. Collin Evans has represented hundreds of clients in their license revocation hearings and has a proven record of winning these cases to keep his clients’ licenses intact.