The modern Breathalyzer looks like a very sophisticated machine. It is compact, sleek, user-friendly, and fast. When police lab technicians take the stand to talk about fuel cells and electrical impulse conversions, these machines sound even fancier. It's not fair to say that these gadgets are all sizzle and no substance. But, that assessment is not too far from accurate.
The rules in this area are very complex and they do not always make sense. So, it's very easy to see why people are confused as to their rights when officers pull them over.
Most drivers provide chemical samples, usually breath samples, upon request. The conviction rate in these cases is over 80 percent. The rate is close to 100 percent in blood test cases. But in non-test cases, the Tarrant County conviction rate plummets to 45 percent.
There are many effective defenses to a Tarrant County DWI. Some are based on legal caselaw, others involve the science of the Breathalyzer test, and others use the facts of the case.
The state often sponsors billboards and other ads which claim that a first-time DWI costs $17,000. That claim is not exactly true, but it is not exactly false either. $17k is a fairly good average figure for both the direct and indirect consequences of DWIs, but it is only a very rough average.
It's happened more than once. After being pulled over for a DWI, the suspect tosses the keys aside and then consumes as much alcohol as possible.
Texas is one of the few states without a mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (a/k/a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device). However, these gadgets are very important in many DWIs.
Driving While Intoxicated is, by far, the most commonly-charged alcohol-related offense in North Texas. But sometimes, all the elements are not present. Or, in a few cases, there is not enough evidence of intoxication to establish probable cause.