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TX DWI LawyerImagine the following scenario: You are driving down the road when you hear police sirens. You look in your rearview mirror and see flashing lights. You pull over and a police officer approaches your window. He suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and wants you to take an alcohol breath test or breathalyzer.

Do you have to comply? What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Texas?

Clearing Up the Confusion Regarding DWI Arrests and Breath Tests

Breath alcohol tests are used to determine whether a person has been drinking. These tests are often used during traffic stops to provide police with probable cause for an arrest. There are two types of breath tests used in drunk driving cases: The breath test that police officers carry with them and use during traffic stops is a portable breath test. Results from portable breath tests like these are not admissible as evidence in a DWI case. These tests are used to justify a drunk driving arrest and take a driver into custody.


TX DWI lawyerThe power and authority held by police officers are not without limit. Police are bound to certain procedures and rules when it comes to traffic stops, arrests, and interrogations. When police act in violation of these rules, it can have a significant impact on a criminal case.

One potential defense strategy in a Texas DWI case is lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop or the DWI arrest. If police do not have probable cause, evidence obtained by police may be inadmissible during the DWI case.

Police Need Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime to Pull Someone Over

The Constitution and other legislation require police officers to have justification for a traffic stop or arrest. Police cannot lawfully pull someone over solely because of their race or the neighborhood they were driving in. They must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. For example, police may pull someone over if they witness a driver run a red light or weave in and out of lanes or if the driver has a broken taillight. Police must be able to point to the specific reason that they pulled someone over. If they cannot give a valid reason for the initial traffic stop, evidence obtained during the traffic stop (such as breathalyzer results) may be thrown out.


TX defense lawyerIf you or a loved one were arrested for drunk driving, you need to know all of your rights and options. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is penalized harshly in Texas. Depending on the nature of the offense and your past criminal history, you could be looking at serious jail time for a DWI conviction. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed if he or she can prove that the breath alcohol test you took was unreliable or flawed.

Problems With Breathalyzer Tests in DWI Cases

Breath alcohol tests, sometimes called breathalyzers, measure the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath. This information is used to assess the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Essentially, BAC is a measurement of how intoxicated someone is. Having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is considered “per se intoxication.” In other words, if your BAC is above this limit, you are automatically considered to be intoxicated according to the law.

However, breathalyzer results are not always accurate. Your attorney may be able to fight your DWI charges by questioning the validity of the breathalyzer results. Multiple issues can cause breath tests to be inaccurate, including:


Posted on in DWI

TX DWI lawyerPolice officers can sometimes be their own worst enemies when it comes to securing DWI convictions. If they follow the legal procedures as well as their own department’s procedures, it can be difficult to overcome a DWI charge. However, this does not always happen. An error at any point, from when they first spot a suspected intoxicated driver through booking can open the door for a strong legal defense. This is why experienced DWI attorneys begin each case by looking for any mistakes made by law enforcement during the process that could make the case more difficult for the prosecution to prove. If you are facing DWI charges, your best bet is to work with a skilled DWI attorney who is familiar with all the procedures that must be followed during a DWI stop and arrest.

What Types of Errors Can Interfere With a DWI Prosecution?

The most important errors that frequently occur in DWI cases tend to either relate to sobriety testing, or a suspect’s constitutional rights. They include:

  • Illegal stop - The police must have had a legally valid reason to pull you over in the first place. Officers will sometimes claim that they saw you swerving, but without crossing into another lane. This is generally not enough. Nor is simply seeing you pull out of a bar, or driving late at night.
  • Chemical testing steps - There is a strict set of procedures that must be followed during a blood or breath test after a DWI stop. Something as simple as having a radio in the room while you were taking a breath test or opening a test tube for a blood test too early can render the results invalid. There is also a waiting period before a breath test can be administered to ensure that any alcohol present in the mouth does not affect the results.
  • Improper field sobriety tests - You may have been set up for failure during field sobriety testing. For one, some of these tests are very subjective and police officers are sometimes less than truthful about what they observed. The conditions under which field sobriety testing is conducted are also relevant - the soberest person may struggle to balance on one leg during heavy winds or while wearing stilettos.
  • Lawyer denied - If you asked for an attorney at any point and the police refused to allow this or continued their investigation, your constitutional rights were likely violated.

Few DWI cases are as hopeless as they may initially appear.


Atascosa County DUI defense lawyerIn Texas, a driver under 21 years of age does not need to be legally intoxicated to be charged with—and convicted of—a criminal offense. This may seem counterintuitive, but Texas takes underage drinking seriously out of recognition that a minor’s chances of getting into an accident go up significantly after just one drink. If you are under 21 and you have been charged with an alcohol-related driving offense, the penalties can be severe. A qualified lawyer can help you protect your rights and build a strong defense.

What is the “Legal Limit” for Persons Under 21 in Texas?

Texas applies what is often called the “not a drop” rule, or the “zero tolerance” rule to persons under 21 when it comes to DWI. This means that if you are not yet 21 years of age, you can face criminal charges if you are found to have any amount of alcohol in your system while operating a motor vehicle. Even if you only drank half a beer or a few sips of a cocktail and do not feel intoxicated, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results indicating anything above 0.00 may be sufficient to justify an arrest and conviction.

In Texas, this offense pertaining to underage drivers is typically referred to as DUI, or driving under the influence, to distinguish it from the offense of DWI (driving while intoxicated), which typically requires a BAC of at least 0.08 or other clear signs of intoxication. A minor who is arrested for DUI can face Class C misdemeanor charges, with a possible sentence including fines and driver’s license suspension. However, if a driver under the age of 21 is found to have a BAC above 0.08, they can also face DWI charges. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, which comes with more serious consequences that may include jail time.

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