Today's Breathalyzer is based on the Drunk-O-Meter, which appeared in the 1930s. So, the Breathalyzer is a very well-established piece of technology. However, the Breathalyzer has also not changed very much since those early models. Thus, the flaws inherent in those early models still remain today.
Pretty much every voter in the Lone Star State knows that Robert "Beto" O'Rourke was arrested for DWI in El Paso in 1998. His arrest, and the subsequent disposition, show how much DWI laws have changed in Texas over the last twenty years.
Breathalyzers make up the vast majority of DWI chemical tests in Texas. Since the Supreme Court ruled that blood tests require search warrants, that will probably remain true for quite some time. Occasionally, Texas law enforcement agencies hold "no-refusal weekends." If drivers refuse Breathalyzer tests, officers will obtain search warrants for blood tests. So, you can refuse a chemical test, and that refusal is effective until they strap you onto a gurney and stick a needle in your arm.
Prosecutors claim that Officer Artie Weathers was intoxicated when he went to pick up his child at Ault Elementary School. He was the sixth Harris County law enforcement officer arrested for DWI between August and September 2017.
The leading scorer on the Longhorn volleyball team will stand trial for DWI shortly after the current season ends in January 2019.
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.