The Ins and Outs of Breathalyzers and DWI

 By: Jed Totus
Every American citizen is presumed innocent when charged with any crime, including a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge. It is each person's right as a citizen of the United States to maintain their innocence until proven otherwise. It is important that you know your rights when facing DWI charges and fully understand the procedures and regulations involved in this charge. For this reason it is a necessity to have a DWI lawyer who is experienced in this area and can support and guide you through the process of your charge and defense.

As with any crime, there must be proof in order to receive a conviction. In drunken driving cases, the prosecution must be able to prove that the accused individual had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit while driving. .08% is the legal limit in the state of Texas. The only way to prove the BAC (blood alcohol content) is actually over the limit at the time of the arrest it to get a proper sample from the driver. The most common way this is done is through the use of a breath test, or a "Breathalyzer" machine.

Many defendants have been able to effectively defend the charges against them based on the results of the Breathalyzer test. There are many variables that can lead to questionable results. Some of these variables include: the experience and ability of the tester, the temperature and atmospheric pressure at the time of the test, or the quality of the equipment used. Recent exposure to fumes from dry cleaning chemicals, gasoline, or paint can also affect how an individual reacts to a Breathalyzer test. Even the physical activity level of the person charged can affect the way the test results come out.

Based on variables such as these, courts have allowed DWI attorneys to present expert scientific testimony to prove the inaccuracy of Breathalyzer results. A first-rate DWI lawyer will know which challenges are likely to be accepted in court, and which will most likely not.

If you have failed a Breathalyzer test, do not assume that you will receive a guilty verdict and extreme consequences. Many of the variables listed can occur even if the testing situation seems completely perfect. Even the Breathalyzer machines themselves have very strict guidelines on their use and care. Without proper maintenance and calibration they can malfunction and give inaccurate results. This information on their care and officer training must be recorded and kept on record. The data can be accessed and can be part of a successful DWI defense case.

Being charged with a DWI can be a frightening experience. A good defense lawyer will have the experience needed to challenge breath tests. Even if you have already submitted to the breathalyzer test and have been charged, you may still have a valid case for reduction or dismissal of the charges against you
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