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DWI BLOOD TESTS
Are blood tests more accurate than breath tests? Blood tests are not always reliable.
About David Breston
The Breston Law Firm has handled over 4,000 cases and has been helping people in Texas since 1987. Watch this video to find out more about our firm
CHOOSING A DWI LAWYER
Learn how to choose a DWI lawyer and the importance of choosing an experienced attorney.
A Texas DWI charge can cost you to lose your license, you face fines and may cost you your job.
Have you been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)? Watch this video by David Breston explaining how he may be able to help you.
DWI BREATH TESTS
Should you refuse a breath test if you are pulled over for DWI in Texas? Watch this video to learn.
The first breathalyzer was manufactured nearly seventy years ago and today may be the most misunderstood tool in law enforcement’s arsenal to fight drunk driving. To begin with a breathalyzer is a machine that measures the amount of alcohol on your breath and not the actual amount of alcohol in your blood – to do that would require an analysis of a blood sample. This is just one of the misconceptions surrounding the machine that police have come to rely on when attempting to determine a driver’s level of intoxication.
The most common tool used by law enforcement to determine a driver's blood alcohol content level is the breath test. However, it has lately been the subject of much controversy because it has been shown time and again to be an unreliable indicator of authentic blood-alcohol content level results. Let's first consider the definitions of some of the more pertinent related language.
BAC – blood alcohol content (also termed blood alcohol concentration). It is a metric of the level of intoxication used for medical or legal purposes and indicates the percentage of alcohol in an individual's blood. As an example, if you were to have a blood alcohol content reading of 0.10% then this would mean that 1/10 of 1% of your blood is actually alcohol.
Breathalyzer – a device for determining the blood alcohol content of an individual through a sample of his or her breath. Originally a brand name (think kleenex) it has morphed into a generic term for any machine that can perform this function. A breathalyzer is considered to be a scientific device. According to law enforcement, the advantage of its use is its non-invasive ability to gauge a level of intoxication versus medically withdrawing a blood sample with the use of a needle. Scientifically speaking, when a person drinks alcohol it is not digested but, rather, absorbed through the membranes in one's mouth and throat, stomach and intestines. From here it passes into the blood stream and leaves the body when a person exhales. The amount of alcohol in each exhalation is equal to the amount of alcohol in one's bloodstream. When a person breathes into a breathalyzer the air mixes with a chemical solution that causes a color change that is compared to a color chart for interpretation.
To the layman it may sound infallible but consider the following problems that have occurred.
Most unsettling of all is the fact that police departments across the country have been found to admit to the unreliability of these machines In Virginia, an internal forensics document was uncovered that stated the current breathalyzers in use by law enforcement were 'unreliable and outdated'. In New Jersey, the judge himself threw out a DUI case after calling the breathalyzer results unreliable. Finally, there is evidence that police officers themselves have been found to tamper with the breathalyzer results.
The State of Texas uses a machine called the Intoxilyzer 5000, which is commonly referred to as a "breathalyzer." Breath testing is predicated on Henry's law of physics, which states that if temperature, and pressure is held constant the substances in the corresponding gases and liquids will reach equilibrium and will be present in equal proportions. This means that the same concentration of a substance will be present in liquid and gaseous states. The problem is that if someone's temperature is above 98.6 they will probably have a higher breath test result.
A lawyer experienced in drunk driving defense law is in the best position to advise a client on whether the Breathalyzer test results may be subject to challenge in his or her particular case. David A. Breston generally challenges Intoxilyzer 5000 results based on the following grounds:
Any of these details may show the inaccuracy of Intoxilyzer 5000 results, and Mr. Breston may be able to suppress this false evidence and get the charges against you dropped.
Often the results of a blood alcohol content reading become the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case against the alleged drunk driver. This is an important fact that cannot be overlooked when one is stopped and then arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Due to the fact that the machine and potential results are riddled with problems it is most likely a better choice to refuse law enforcement’s request for a breathalyzer test and request a Houston DWI attorney instead.
"David pushed the case and on the day of trial the prosecutor dismissed the case, and I did not loose my DL!"