DWI Breathalyzer Test
Should I Take the Breathalzyer Test, Or Know to ‘No’!
I get asked all the time, “If someone gets arrested for DWI, should they blow?”
OK. Now, let’s analyze this. You have been stopped for some reason. Any reason! I have even seen cases where the officer just wanted to pull you over and the ‘reason’ is that your license plate was not ‘properly illuminated’ or your ‘window was down’ on a cool day, or some such reason.
Then, he smells alcohol on your breath and goes through the standardized field sobriety tests and comes to the opinion that you are too intoxicated to drive and places you under arrest for DWI. Then he asks if you will submit to a DWI breathalyzer test.
Dude, you’re already arrested for DWI! He’s going to file the charges anyway under the first method of proving it, i.e. ‘by having lost the normal use of one’s mental or physical faculties’. He’s not going to ‘un-arrest’ you! When he turned on his red and blue lights the video camera automatically started and has been recording all that has happened. He’s on camera, just like you. His sergeant will review the video and ask, ‘why’d you let that guy go?’
So, if you blow and it’s below the limit you’re still arrested and you get a free trip to the county jail. (I once had a client who blew a 0.02 [¼ the legal limit] and he was still arrested!)
If you blow and it’s above the limit, you’ve just given the prosecution more evidence against you. The saying is true, “if you’re in a hole, stop digging!”
Here’s a little of the ‘science’ behind it: Texas uses the Intoxilyzer 5000, and has done so for many years. The programming and mechanics are outdated. The machine isn’t even warranted by the manufacturer to be accurate! Imagine that? It is monitored and ‘checked’ by a person who is on the State’s payroll. He or she is not even a true scientist, but is entrusted to mix the ‘formula’ which is the base for the machine’s tests. The machine has a tolerance of ±0.02, which means a test of 0.08 could be a 0.10 (over the limit) or 0.06 (under the limit). It is temperature sensitive. If you have a fever or your body is in a particular cycle, you will have an elevated reading.
There are many more things which could go wrong with the machine and the DWI breathalyzer. [If you blow too long (the officer always says, ‘keep blowing, keep blowing’) you will have an elevated test.] Breathalyzer Testing is a very technical part of DWI Defense. That is exactly why I attend as much continuing legal education in DWI Law as possible so I can stay on the cutting edge of DWI Law.
If you get arrested for a DWI call me. I will be glad to answer every question you may have and then educate you even more for the steps ahead.