When facing a DWI charge in Austin, Texas, evaluating the case evidence is crucial to building a strong defense strategy. Understanding the rules that govern evidence collection and the potential inaccuracies in breath and blood tests results can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
In this blog post, we highlight the critical nature of DWI case evidence collection and emphasize the importance of seeking the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney team to guide you through the entire DWI process.
What Rules Govern The Collection of Evidence in an Austin DWI Case?
Law enforcement must adhere to certain rules and regulations when collecting DWI case evidence in Austin. These rules and regulations aim to ensure fairness and accuracy. Key aspects to consider include:
- Probable cause: Law enforcement officers need a valid reason, based on reasonable suspicion, to stop and detain a driver suspected of DWI. Without this probable cause, any evidence obtained may be thrown out.
- Field sobriety tests: Law enforcement may administer Field sobriety tests (FSTs) to evaluate a driver’s level of impairment. It is important to note that the results of any FST are only the administering officer’s subjective opinion as to whether the driver is impaired. Furthermore, FSTs are not reliable, as they can be influenced by various factors. Because of this, a skilled DWI attorney can challenge the reliability of the FST results and how they were interpreted.
- Breath and blood tests: Texas implied consent laws require suspected drunk drivers to submit to a breath or blood test. If an officer suspects intoxication, they may request that a driver submit to these tests. An experienced attorney can examine the procedures followed while administering a breath or blood test to identify any potential errors or violations that might render the test inadmissible.
What About Breathalyzer Results?
Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Austin DWI cases. However, these tests are not always reliable, as several factors can affect their accuracy. These factors include:
- Calibration issues: Breathalyzer devices must be calibrated regularly to ensure accurate results. If a device was not calibrated properly, it could produce distorted readings. Your DWI attorney can investigate whether the device used in your case underwent appropriate calibration.
- Operator error: Breathalyzer tests must be properly administered by a trained individual following specific protocols. Errors made by the individual administering the test can compromise the accuracy of the results.
- Medical conditions and diet: Certain medical conditions and diets can influence Breathalyzer readings. Conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or specific diets high in protein can potentially trigger false-positive results. These factors need to be taken into consideration when evaluating the validity of the test.
What If The Machine Readings Are Incorrect (I was not driving while intoxicated)
In cases where the machine readings are incorrect, or you believe you were not driving while intoxicated, it is crucial to mount a strong defense. Strategies that can help challenge the accuracy of the readings include:
- Independent analysis: Your attorney can arrange for an independent analysis of the breathalyzer results by a qualified expert who can scrutinize the device and the testing process. Discrepancies or irregularities found during this analysis can cast doubt on the validity of the readings.
- Witness testimony: If there were witnesses present during your arrest who can attest to your sobriety or contradict the officer’s observations, their testimony can be crucial in disputing the charges against you.
- Video evidence: If there were surveillance cameras or dashcams present at the time of your arrest, obtaining and reviewing the footage can provide valuable evidence to support your defense. This can help challenge the officer’s observations and actions during the stop.
What Should I Do If I Get Stopped for Suspicion of DWI in Texas?
If you get stopped for suspicion of DWI in Texas, it is important to take the following steps to protect your rights:
- Be polite and cooperative: Stay respectful and cooperative with the arresting officer. Refrain from engaging in arguments or confrontations, as it can worsen the situation.
- Exercise your right to remain silent: You have the right to remain silent, which means you do not have to answer any potentially incriminating questions. Politely invoke this right and refrain from providing unnecessary information.
- Document the details: Take note of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, including the officer’s name, badge number, and any relevant details. These notes can be valuable for your attorney when building your defense.
- Contact an experienced DWI attorney: As soon as possible, reach out to an experienced Austin DWI attorney to guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and build a strong defense on your behalf.
Proper Handling And Analysis of DWI Case Evidence
If you have been charged with DWI in Austin, whether it is your first offense or a felony charge, an attorney can help you make the right decisions based on your evidence and specific circumstances.