breath tests

How Accurate are Breath Tests?

By Peek & Toland on March 8, 2019

Texas law enforcement officials use two different types of devices to perform breath tests: the intoxilyzer and the breathalyzer. These devices are designed to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC), so test results can support DWI charges. Nonetheless, the results of breath tests are not always accurate, which can give you grounds to challenge their results in court and fight back against your DWI charges.

First, police officers normally are trained how to conduct breath tests, as they must follow many technical requirements in order for the test to be valid. For instance, officers are required to observe the driver for a period of time before they can administer the breath test. If an officer is inexperienced or not sufficiently trained on using the breath test device, there may be an argument that the officer conducted the test improperly. Additionally, if the police officer failed to wait for the entire observation period to elapse before conducting the test, you may be able to challenge the breath test results.

How Accurate are Breath Tests?

Another possible challenge to the breath test results might involve the length of time that elapsed between the time that you drank and the point which the officer tested your breath. Some health conditions produce compounds that mimic alcohol, which can cause a false positive on a breath test. Likewise, if you used mouthwash or another health product that contained alcohol, the results might be skewed.
Furthermore, the devices themselves may misfunction. If they are not properly maintained and calibrated, like any instrument or device, they can produce incorrect results.

If you find yourself charged with any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys can offer you. As the consequences of any criminal conviction may be severe, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for individuals who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.

Posted in DWI

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Common Drunk Driving Myths – an Austin DWI Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Guide

By Peek & Toland on June 12, 2017

Drivers still hold onto many drunk driving myths. False preconceptions can lead you to drive intoxicated when you thought you were fine or harming your DWI case.

Often drivers who take a risk and get behind the wheel live a charmed life. If you have got away with driving drunk on numerous occasions, you may wrongly come to believe you will never be caught.

top drunk driving myths

Here are some of the most common drunk driving myths.

1 You will be fine if you have two drinks or under

You may beat a breath or blood test if you have only consumed two alcoholic drinks or less, but there’s no guarantee.

Your level of intoxication depends on a wide array of factors including how fast you drank, the time of day, your age, your sex, how strong the drinks you consumed are, whether you have eaten and how hydrated you are.

2 Drinking black coffee will sober you up

Many drivers still believe drinking strong coffee will sober them up fast if they have been drinking alcohol. Coffee may make you feel more alert behind the wheel but it will have no impact on your blood/alcohol content if you are tested. It’s also a myth that mouthwash will help you pass a test, although it may mask the smell of alcohol. These products often contain alcohol. They could potentially elevate a reading.

3 You Can’t Be Charged with a DWI the Day After Drinking

Your level of intoxication will fall if you sleep for several hours but if you drank a large quantity of alcohol, you may still test above the 0.08 legal BAC level the next day. The fact you have not consumed alcohol for hours will make no difference with police if you fail a test.

4 You should deny you drank

If you have consumed alcohol, you should not lie to a police officer and say you did not drink. You could be hit with a charge of obstruction of justice and lying may harm you later in court. However, you should say as little as possible. Do not admit to drinking alcohol but invoke your right to silence and say you want to talk to a criminal defense lawyer.

5 You Should Do Everything a Police Officer Asks

One of the leading drunk driving myths is that you should do everything a police officer asks. Be careful about being over helpful with an officer if you have been stopped after consuming alcohol. Talking too much will get you in trouble. You also have a right to refuse to take field sobriety tests. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain from these. You do have a right to refuse a breath or a blood test, although Texas’ implied consent law means you will face the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days.

6 Breath Tests Are Always Reliable

You should not assume a breath test reading is 100 percent reliable. This is one of the most common drunk driving myths. Police departments use a wide variety of breathalyzers and some may be malfunctioning or faulty.

Breath tests are not always accurate or consistently applied by police officers. Many different types of breathalyzers are used by Texas law enforcement agencies. These devices are prone to a wide range of problems and malfunctions.

A study more than 10 years ago by the University of Washington indicated breath tests are often unreliable.

Factors like breath temperature, body size, and lung volume can influence results. Officers may not tell you if there is a problem with a breathalyzer. Typically, blood tests are more reliable and if you insist on a blood test rather than a breath test, it’s necessary for a warrant to be obtained. In the added time it will take for a blood test to be carried out by a medical professional, your blood/alcohol level may have fallen.

If you are facing DWI charges, you should contact the law offices of Peek & Toland . There is little time to spare to fight this serious charge and it’s vital to obtain high quality representation.

Posted in Criminal Defense, DWI

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