If a police officer pulls you over and suspects that you’re Driving While Intoxicated, they’ll usually administer a test to determine your BAC level, or Blood Alcohol Concentration level. This is the level of alcohol found in a person’s bloodstream and is technically measured as mass per volume.
A BAC of 0.08% implies there is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 grams of blood. A BAC result of 0.08% and above indicates that a person is under the influence, and driving under such conditions is considered illegal in Texas.
There are a number of methods used by the police to determine if a person was driving under the influence.
Two of the most commonly used methods include:
- Field sobriety test, and
- Chemical blood test
A standardized field sobriety test (SFST) recommended by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration (NHTSA) consists of three tests, namely the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn (WAT), and the one-leg stand (OLS).
If the SFST results fail to satisfy the officers about their belief about the driver’s state of intoxication (or absence thereof), they usually proceed to chemical blood testing which analyzes the person’s blood, breath, or urine, in order to diagnose the blood alcohol level of the person who is under suspicion for DWI.
How to Fight These Tests
None of these methods for DWI detection in Galveston are infallible.
The readings of these adhoc chemical tests should always be taken with a grain of salt. Thousands of people are falsely charged with DWI every year, including in Galveston, Texas.
Following, are some of the factors that can result in an erroneous FST and/or blood test result :
- Medical condition – Medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux or heartburn can cause erroneous DUI breath test results.
- Psychological state of mind – Adrenaline induced nervousness, intimidation at the sight of the police and panic at the possible future as a convict can very well be an innocent but truthful cause of a botched FST. Poor eyesight, bad weather conditions, bad lighting, obesity, leg or joint problems are also valid reasons.
- Diet – Conditions like diabetes, hypoglycemia or any low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet can occasionally give a false positive BAC report. Residual alcohol-soaked food in dental cavities or use of alcohol-rich mouthwash like Listerine can also give a false BAC level.
- Improper storage of sample – Unscientific storage or lack of refrigeration often results in blood fermentation and contamination, which in turn can cause a tainted DUI test report.
- Rising blood alcohol level – Typically, alcohol absorption in the blood stream may take anywhere between 50 – 180 minutes in order to reach the peak level. In between the time that a driver was stopped and the test was taken, a rising blood alcohol level shall give a high BAC but will not necessarily imply that the driver was drunk while driving.
An Experienced DWI Lawyer Can Help
In Texas, DWI laws are governed by Title 10 Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code. If you think you are falsely charged with DUI/DWU, contact an experienced Galveston, Texas DUI/DWI defense lawyer and have them examine some of the defenses that may be raised to combat the “junk science” test results and successfully beat your DUI charges.
The Law Office of Tad Nelson & Associates is here to help.
Mr. Nelson earned his Board Certification in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1996, after being licensed for five years. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS/CHAL Lawyer-Scientist).
Give us a call to discuss your case.