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Drunk Driving Arrests: Are Breath Tests Always Accurate?

Posted on in DWI

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:

  • Rising blood alcohol – When someone drinks alcohol, their BAC increases over time. By the time a DWI suspect is arrested and taken to the police station for BAC testing, his or her BAC may have risen. Defendants may be able to argue that their blood alcohol was actually under the legal limit at the time they were driving but over the legal limit by the time they took a breathalyzer test or blood test.
  • Medical conditions – Did you know that certain medical conditions can actually increase a person’s BAC? For example, people with diabetes may have acetone in their lungs that registers as alcohol on the test. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can also artificially increase the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath.
  • Foods – What a person eats can also influence a breath test. For example, the popular “keto diet” has been shown to produce ketones in the breath that can mimic alcohol. Mouthwash and other alcohol-containing products can also increase a person’s BAC reading on a breath test.
  • Defective testing device – Breathalyzers are sophisticated devices, but they do have a margin of error. Furthermore, the devices must be properly calibrated and cleaned to work correctly.

Contact a Pleasanton DWI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving, contact BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys for help. Our Atascosa County criminal defense lawyers can help you defend yourself and provide the legal advice and representation you need. Call 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

https://www.insider.com/keto-diet-false-positive-alcohol-breathalyzer-test-2020-2

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