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Breath Testing

Breath tests may be flawed - let an attorney fight for your rights!

Breath testing is one of the ways a police officer determines if a driver should be charged with DWI in Texas. Keep in mind that breath tests are far from perfect. They provide an indirect measurement of blood alcohol levels and any number of factors may create a false reading.

A Houston Area DWI lawyer who is well versed in state law can help with strategies to attack the results of your breath test if you were charged with drunk driving in Houston or elsewhere in Texas.

When a breath test is used as evidence, Attorney Joseph LaBella can question the functioning of the breath test machine as well as the training of the officer who administered the breath test. The machine may give an unreliable result if it's not working or if it's not calibrated properly. Your DWI defense lawyer in Texas can examine the maintenance history, usage logs and other pertinent records to determine if there are any irregularities.

A diligent attorney may be able to have the results of the breath test barred from being used in court. By keeping the breath test results out of evidence, your chance of receiving a favorable result will be greatly improved.

History of breath testing devices

Breath testing devices in America have been in use since the early 1940's, although the first ones were crude, highly inaccurate pieces of equipment. They were also subject to extreme operator error, if operated incorrectly. Robert Borkenstein of Indiana patented the best of the early devices in the early 1950's. The device was called "The Breathalyzer®" and was still in use in some states (i.e., New Jersey and South Carolina) up until the late 1990s.

Law enforcement in Texas use the "Intoxilyzer 5000" or the "Intoxilyzer 5000en," depending on the county. The device works by measuring the amount of light that is absorbed in a particular substance (spectroscopy method). A high concentration absorbs more light and leads to a higher readout. The machine computes the light absorption into a BAC value. If the concentration is .08 or greater, the officer can arrest you for DWI.

All tests are subject to legal challenge

Regardless of whether the result claimed by the state is close to the state's legal limit (e.g., a 0.083 result in a state having a legal limit of 0.080) or double (or more) the maximum limit for your state, a trained trial attorney may be able to find a viable explanation about why the machine's results cannot be trusted.

Contact a Houston Area DWI attorney

For a free consultation, call 1-800-395-5951. Rely on an experienced Houston Area DWI attorney. Joseph LaBella can fight to protect your rights.