The Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2018, there was a death toll of 3,639 because of motor vehicle accidents. 940 of those deaths occurred because a person behind the wheel drove while intoxicated. In Plano, 262 crashes happened, resulting in three fatalities.
As in all criminal cases, a person charged with DWI is innocent until proven guilty. The state must prove the defendant guilty of the DWI charge by using the evidence collected. If an individual believes he or she is not guilty of driving while intoxicated, challenging the evidence provided may help to win the case.
Possible facts to contest
The defendant can challenge any evidence brought forth by the prosecution. The state may provide evidence such as results from blood, breath and field tests.
- Blood test
The Transportation Code states a police officer may request the alleged intoxicated individual to give a blood test if someone in the accident died, had a child in the car, or there was a seriously injured individual. If the individual refuses a blood test, the police must have a warrant to get the blood. If there is not a properly attained warrant, the judge may throw out the evidence.
- Breath test
A Breathalyzer test may be problematic and an excellent defense to dismiss a DWI charge. Certain medical conditions may cause a false positive on a breath test. These may include:
- Acid reflux
Some asthma medications like Albuterol, Salmeterol and Budesonide may cause a Breathalyzer to register alcohol use.
- Field sobriety test
Factors such as weather, road conditions and medical problems may cause the individual to fail the test resulting in a DWI arrest. Police officers use three field tests to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol. These tests may include:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
- Walk and Turn
- One Leg Stand
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) instructs police officers around the country how to administer field sobriety tests. Despite the implementation of these standardized tests, some police officers may not conduct the test as required.