If you have been charged with drunk driving, you may be worried about the results of your DWI breath test and if it can get you into trouble. Here is what you need to know.
DWI Breath Test | Should I Take One?
In Texas, we see both breath tests and blood tests. Which one is more defendable? It depends on the case and the facts and who ran the blood test. Probably, overall, a breath test is more defendable because the jurors have some doubt about the results of breath tests. Depending on who did them and who’s testifying, that makes a difference because on a breath test, usually there are one or two people that come in to testify about a breath test.
On a blood test, the people have more qualifications and come in to try to set up the blood test as the greatest test. However, also what ends up happening in some blood tests is the state has difficulty getting those people in. Also, there are other issues that occur with blood tests. Was the blood drawn properly? Did they use the right type of swabs when they cleaned the area of the arm? There’s a lot to look at, but jurors generally have more faith in blood tests. I would say probably a breath test is more defendable.
DWI Breath Test | What Happens If I Refuse a Breath Test?
If you’re pulled over for a DWI and the officer requests that you take a blood or breath test, you can refuse. If you refuse, some things are going to happen. If you are in a larger county or city, they will go to a magistrate and they’ll get a warrant and they’ll draw your blood. In a smaller county or city, very often they don’t have that ability and they’ll just accept your refusal. There are a few things that happen when you refuse. The driver’s license suspension is longer if you refused to take the breath or blood test.
The old way of looking at it was that you always refuse, and that still may be good advice in a lot of circumstances. However, if your blood or breath test is barely over the legal limit, I find it very often easier to defend a breath test than a blood test. Very often, the advice is if you think you’re just barely over the legal limit or close to it, then sometimes you might be better off taking the breath test. One, you have a lower suspension period, and two, you’ll end up with a case that’s more defendable.
DWI Breath Test | Is a Field Sobriety Breathalyzer Admissible in Court?
In most cases, an officer requesting that you take a breath test, if you do it, is not admissible against you at trial, because that machine he used at the scene, in most cases, is what’s called a PBT, a portable breath test machine and they are not accurate. The results from those can vary dramatically. An officer might be able to use it against you, or the state can use it against you if you denied consuming alcohol. They can use it to show the consumption of alcohol, but not the result. The reason is, of course, like I mentioned earlier, that the results from that machine are not accurate.
If you are looking for an attorney to discuss your DWI breath test with, please call our San Antonio DWI attorney today for a free consultation.