When a police officer pulls you over because they suspect chemical impairment, they will ask you questions and possibly even have you exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test. When the statement you make or your performance on a test gives a police officer probable cause to suspect you of driving while intoxicated (DWI), they will then likely ask you to perform a chemical breath test.
The result of that test could lead to your arrest and may provide the basis for the state’s prosecution. If the results of your chemical breath test surprised you because you hadn’t had anything to drink or only had one drink, you may believe that there is essentially no way for you to fight those charges.
However, failing a breath test during a DWI traffic stop does not automatically lead to your conviction. Although members of the public might assume that chemical breath testing is very accurate, it is a system that frequently fails and results in false positives.
You can challenge the test results or traffic stop
You can potentially challenge the accuracy of the test or the officer’s right to request the test and then submit it as evidence for your prosecution. For example, if there are gaps in the records regarding the maintenance and calibration of the testing unit utilized during your traffic stop, those maintenance mistakes might raise questions about the accuracy of the results.
On the other hand, you could have a medical explanation for why you failed the breath test that has nothing to do with alcohol consumption. Some drivers can even challenge the validity of the initial traffic stop. Police officers have to have a reason to pull you over in the first place. If you can challenge the traffic stop, the courts may not be able to hear the evidence gathered during the stop.
Pleading guilty could be a costly mistake
It is important for those accused of DWI offenses in Texas to know all of their options before they respond. A guilty plea will mean that you risk the significant penalties that Texas imposes for DWI offenses. It will also mean you have a criminal record. A conviction can affect your employment, your professional licensing and even your driving privileges.
By mounting a rigorous defense, you can potentially avoid those expensive and lasting penalties while also defending your license, freedom and reputation. Learning more about the ways people defend against DWI charges might inspire you to prove your own innocence in court.