Houston DWI Attorneys - DWI in Texas: The Blood Alcohol Test

Houston DWI Lawyers can be invaluable if you find yourself facing DWI in Texas. The Blood Alcohol Test, or BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) Test, is commonly used to determine whether a person is over the limit of 0.08 percent. Those with BAC between 0.06 percent and 0.09 percent may experience a sense of euphoria, disinhibition, a reduced sensitivity to pain, slowed reflexes and impaired judgment.  

Blood and breath tests are the two primary methods of measuring a person’s BAC, although both police officers and suspects tend to disfavor blood draws.

While a blood test can take up to a month for the lab to analyze the sample and report the results, breathalyzer results are instantaneous. Texas DWI Laws have gotten steadily tougher over the years, and if you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI in Texas, you could be required to have your blood alcohol levels measured.  There can be issues regarding the use of a breathalyzer, because technically breathalyzers do not measure blood alcohol, they measure breath alcohol concentration. Harris County Field Sobriety Tests definitely have a margin of error, and it can make a difference in your charges of DWI in Texas to have experienced Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers by your side. 

How the Breathalyzer Works - If an officer believes you were driving under the influence of alcohol which impaired your driving abilities, he or she may ask you to provide a sample of your breath by blowing into a tube, from one to three times. Breath tests seek to measure the alcohol content of the person being tested by taking a sample of breath from deep in the lungs. Some of the factors which can affect the results are air temperature variance, failure to properly calibrate the device, substances which interfere with the results (such as an asthma inhaler or cough medicine) or even the police officer’s failure to observe you for a specific period of time prior to testing. While the breathalyzer machine detects the levels of alcohol in your breath, there are many inaccuracies possible in Breathalyzer Tests. In fact, Breathalyzer Tests are considered to be only about 70% accurate, leaving a 30% margin of error. If you took Harris County Breathalyzer Test and you feel your Harris County Blood Alcohol Tests could be in error, it is important to contact Houston DWI Attorneys immediately.

Preliminary Breath Test - Once you’ve been pulled over as a potential drunk driver, the police officer may offer you a preliminary breath test, but you should be aware that you have the right to refuse this test with no repercussions and the state cannot admit the results into evidence. The preliminary test is a tool used by officers to determine probable cause prior to arresting suspects. Once you have been booked, however, if you refuse the Blood Alcohol Test or Breathalyzer Test you may end up with harsher consequences in the end. Submitting to the Blood Alcohol Test or Breathalyzer Test is a delicate balance between incriminating yourself with the test results and incurring harsher penalties. Harris County Breathalyzer Tests can have many issues, requiring the services of Houston Criminal Lawyers.

There are a variety of reasons why you could have failed a BAC test—other than that you were actually drunk—including an elevated body temperature or chronic reflux. Certain other compounds such as cigarettes, soy sauce, gum or mints can affect the overall reading, and on some machines the harder the blow the higher your reading will be. The officer may have neglected to calibrate the machine prior to testing you or you may have certain medical factors which resulted in an inaccurate reading. Alcohol can also become trapped in a person’s dental fillings, giving an overly high reading, or the officer may not be properly trained to administer the tests. While the breathalyzer tests detect ethyl alcohol, it fails to differentiate it from methyl alcohol which is found in some foods and other substances. Houston DWI Lawyers can help determine other reasons your Breathalyzer Test might have registered a high BAC, so following your Harris County Breathalyzer Tests, speak to Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers.  

Blood Alcohol Tests - While Blood Alcohol Tests are typically considered more precise than testing done by a Breathalyzer, they can be disputed if a person who was unlicensed drew the blood, the equipment was not calibrated, the blood was not drawn within the required time period, the blood was not properly stored or preserved, or the custody chain of evidence was broken. There is also a distinction between “legal blood” or whole blood collection and “medical blood,” which is typically serum. The methods used to draw and test legal blood differs from those used to draw and test medical blood, and serum blood samples tend to have problems with accuracy. In fact, some studies have indicated that plasma and serum alcohol levels are as much as 16 to 21 percent higher than whole blood levels.  Houston DWI Attorneys are aware there could be a problem with contamination of blood specimens as well.

Should You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test? Making the decision as to whether you should agree to take a Breathalyzer is not an easy one. If you suspect your BAC levels are high, then it could be a good idea to refuse the test simply to avoid giving the prosecutor more evidence to use against you. It is important to remember that even if you believe your BAC will not be that high, if you have been drinking at all, your judgment may be impaired, meaning you might not have a realistic idea of what your BAC really is. Further, while 0.08 percent is the legal limit, a BAC which falls at 0.06 or higher could be within the machine’s “margin of error.” In the state of Texas, refusing a Breathalyzer Test could lead to a suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days for a DWI in Texas First Offense.    

Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help with Your BAC Test Results - After going through a Harris County Arrest and being charged with DWI in Texas, you do not want to face the Harris County District Attorney on your own. You also want to avoid Harris County Criminal Records and Harris County Jail. What can make a huge difference in the outcome of your DWI in Texas charges is having Houston DWI Lawyers on your side. Texas DWI Laws are harsh, and Sullo & Sullo has Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers with Payment Plans as well as Houston Criminal Lawyer Free Consultations for your DWI in Texas charges. Harris County Breathalyzer Tests and Harris County Blood Alcohol Tests can come with serious issues, and your Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI Lawyers can help defend you against those issues.

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