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What errors can affect a DWI case?

The story was incredible - a DWI breath test supervisor was terminated after her work was determined to be so bad, it was called a "ticking time bomb" in an internal investigation. Key evidence in thousands of DWI cases is suspect.

While this example comes from along the Gulf Coast, it illustrates what can go wrong. Errors in evidence collection or a lack of probable cause to stop you in the first place, could lead to dismissal or a reduction in charges. It often takes a skilled DWI attorney to identify these issues and protect your rights.

This blog will cover several of the issues that can arise.

Insufficient instruction on field sobriety tests

In Texas, police officers can give you one of three field sobriety tests to determine whether you are impaired. They are:

  • Walk and Turn,
  • Stand on One Leg or
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus.

If an officer gives you one of these tests, they must deliver explicit instructions so you know what to do. Failure to deliver ample instructions or properly complete the test can result in a dismissal of your DWI.

Issues with a breath test result

Not only could the breath sample be improperly analyzed, as in the League City situation, the test could be administered improperly or the machine could misread the results. For example, if you burped before taking the test, it could cause an error in the reading. Chewing gum may also affect a result.

If you question the results of a breath test, it is often worth further investigation. The Texas breathalyzer machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000, has been known to malfunction, which can invalidate a result.

No justified suspicion to pull you over

If you are weaving, speeding or driving with a broken tail light, an officer has reasonable cause to stop your vehicle. Yet if your car is in great shape and you are a model driver, then the officer might not have a reasonable justification for pulling you over. If you are pulled over only on a hunch and charged with a DWI, the case might be dismissed.

If accused of a DWI, it is critical to speak with a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys are Harris Cook LLP, have the tools to minimize any criminal consequences and fully defend your rights. Schedule a free consultation as soon as possible after an arrest to discuss the details of your case.

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