If Texas law enforcement officers have probable cause to pull you over for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you will most likely be given a standard Breathalyzer test. Texas law says that by driving with a Texas driver’s license, you have in essence given consent to be tested for your blood alcohol content (BAC) by an officer of the law, and this is most commonly done by way of a Breathalyzer test.
When you drink alcohol, it gets into your blood stream, then into your lungs. When you exhale, the alcohol is released. When you blow into the Breathalyzer machine, it calculates and records your BAC level. In Texas, as well as in every other state, if your BAC is 0.08 or higher, you will likely be charged with a DWI.
What many people are unaware of is that a standard Breathalyzer machine can give a ‘false-positive’ result. Because of this, there have been innocent people arrested for DWI throughout the history of the Breathalyzer machine’s use. Being charged on the basis of a BAC recorded by one of these machines means you need to fight the charge of Driving While Intoxicated, for the sake of your reputation and your freedom. One way you can do that is to challenge the validity of the BAC recorded by the Breathalyzer. Following are some ways to challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test:
There Were Flaws in the Administration of the Test
If certain procedures are not followed, the court may invalidate the Breathalyzer BAC results. Some of those are:
- 1. The machine itself was not properly calibrated nor maintained.
- 2. The officer who administered the test was not properly trained.
- 3. The officer who administered the test was not certified to do so.
- 4. The test was administered improperly. For example, the officer must have continuously observed you for 15 minutes prior to administering the test to be sure you did not ingest any substance: not chewing gum, a breath mint, a cough drop, or anything else. If you threw up or even burped during the 15-minute observation period, the test is not valid.
The Breathalyzer Results Created a False Positive
There are some situations that can create a false positive. A few of those are:
- 1. Using cough syrup that contains alcohol.
- 2. A person suffering from hypoglycemia at the time the test is administered will have a positive Breathalyzer test result. This is most common among diabetics and those with liver or kidney disease, but it can affect anyone.
- 3. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, like the well-known Atkins diet.
- 4. Having been fasting for a period of time.
- 5. Using a numbing spray or gel for a toothache.
- 6. Using breath spray that contains alcohol.
Any medical condition that causes the body to produce ketones will result in a positive BAC from a Breathalyzer test. The machine mistakes the ketones for alcohol and produces a positive BAC.
If you have been charged with a DWI based on the results of a breath test, contact an attorney to investigate the administration of the test. With so many falsely high results, challenging the results is practically a must.