What Is Intoxication?
Testing For Intoxication
One way prosecutors prove driver intoxication is through scientific testing of the amount of alcohol in the body, usually by analyzing the breath or blood. These tests are usually administered by machines, such as the Breathalyzer®. In Texas, a person with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 is considered legally intoxicated.
“Implied-consent laws create the legal presumption that if a person takes advantage of the privilege of driving, he or she automatically consents to state-administered chemical testing to determine his or her BAC. If a driver refuses to take a chemical-alcohol test, his or her drivers license may be revoked or suspended.”
BAC test results over the legal limit are usually presumed to be proof of intoxication.
However, defendants may challenge the conclusiveness of the results by showing irregularities in the test administration procedure or problems with the test equipment. For example, your lawyer may advise retesting of your breath sample tubes. He or she may be able to obtain exclusion of the original breath test results from the case or even dismissal of the case entirely.
Other types of evidence used by prosecuting attorneys to show intoxication include drivers’ statements, witness and police observations of behavior and driving patterns and circumstantial evidence. An example of possibly relevant circumstantial evidence is that a defendant, before driving, spent the afternoon at a party where drinking games were played.
Police also gather important evidence of intoxication by administering standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) at the scenes of traffic stops. Common field sobriety tests include:
- One-legged stand
- Walk-and-turn test
- Horizontal-gaze-nystagmus (HGN) test
- Counting backwards
- Reciting the alphabet
Fighting Your Intoxication Case
Driving is the basis of the American lifestyle, permeating every activity we do. We rely on driving to get to work, to socialize, to run errands and to vacation. Licensed drivers transport children, people with disabilities and senior citizens to important appointments and activities. A drunk-driving conviction can bring a screeching halt to your life. If you face a potential problem with drunk driving, the experienced team of DWI and DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramos & del Cueto will fight for you and help protect your interests and those of your family and loved ones.