Four Myths About DWI Defenses

| Sep 16, 2018 |

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.

However, there are also a number of DWI myths. Many of them contain a grain of truth, which is probably why some people rely on these defenses. But in the end, they all end up basically the same way.

Sucking on a Penny

There is a persistent Internet rumor that the penny suck artificially lowers your breath alcohol level, which translates to a lower BAC. This tells is partially true, because copper does cause a chemical reaction which may alter the result.

Unfortunately, pennies only contain trace amounts of copper. They are mostly zinc. Furthermore, the Breathalyzer focuses on the air in the lungs. A tiny amount of copper in the mouth will not have any effect.

Lying to the Officer

Some people believe that if they say they have not been drinking, the officer will let them go. That may have been true back in the 1980s, if there was little or no evidence to indicate alcohol consumption and the defendant was close to home.

But it’s not true anymore. Evidence like odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech is hardly conclusive. But it is more than enough for reasonable suspicion, which is all the officer needs at that point. Plus, if you antagonize the officer by lying, you could face additional obstruction of justice charges.

Passing the Field Tests

Once again, many moons ago, officers may have released defendants if they passed the field tests (heel-to-toe walk, etc.). But now, many officers must deal with angry supervisors if they let impaired defendants go. If these individuals get in wrecks, the victims could theoretically sue the police department for keeping a drunk driver on the road.

Besides, everyone fails the FSTs. If the officers must look for technicalities to give failing grades, they will find them.

Sobering Up Before Driving

Drinking coffee helps drivers feel more awake, and chewing gum might offset the odor of alcohol. But these things do not “cure” intoxication. Only time does that.

If there are any signs whatsoever of impairment, that’s usually sufficient for reasonable suspicion. That’s all officers need to take the next step in a DWI arrest.

Old wives’ tales about the law are no substitute for aggressive representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. Home and jail visits are available.