Accident reconstruction is a report drafted after a DWI-related accident has been investigated by accident reconstruction experts. They used science and peer-reviewed methods to determine the cause of a traffic accident. In part, the analysis can determine if it was caused by a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs or if some other factor was the cause or part of the cause of the collision.
Acquittal is a finding by a judge or jury after a criminal trial for an offense like DWI or another DWI-related crime. If a person is acquitted, it means that person was found not guilty. Acquittal occurs when the prosecutor fails to prove all the elements of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Administrative License Revocation Hearing (ALR Hearing)
An administrative license revocation hearing occurs after a DWI arrest. The hearing is not automatic but is held only upon the defendant's request. The purpose of the hearing is to contest driver's license suspension imposed after the defendant either (1) refused to provide a chemical test; or (2) failed a breath or blood test during a DWI investigation.
Alcohol Education Program
An alcohol education program is a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation program for minors charged with an underage DUI or a minor in possession offense. It is a standardized program lasting six hours and is intended to increase the defendant's knowledge of alcohol and drug use and abuse among their peers. These programs have their advantages and disadvantages for the defendant.
ALR Hearing Request
An ALR hearing request is the standard Texas Department of public Safety ALR request form you need to complete within 15 days to prevent suspension or revocation of your driver's license after a DWI arrest.
An appeal is a legal proceeding to bring your DWI case before a higher court for review of the decision of a lower court. A defendant can appeal a DWI conviction while a prosecutor may appeal an acquittal of a DWI charge.
An arraignment is the first appearance you will make before a judge after arrested for a crime, like a DWI, in Texas. At this hearing, you are formally read the charges brought against you, and you must plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere.
An arrest for a crime like a DWI means a law enforcement agent has probable cause to believe you were driving while intoxicated and therefore has the right to deprive you of your freedom of movement by taking you into custody. Probable cause is based on the facts and information available before the arrest is made.
An arrest record, also known as a criminal record, consists of documentation created when a person is arrested for a crime. The arrest record maintains information on any criminal convictions and criminal history. Arrest records are stored by law enforcement and judicial administrative agencies and are -- in most circumstances -- public information.
BAC is the acronym for blood alcohol content. Blood alcohol content refers to the percent of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. A BAC of .10% means there is one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood. In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated when a BAC is .08% or higher.
A bench trial is a trial by a judge or a panel of judges rather than by a jury of peers. The judge is the finder of fact and the decision-maker on matters of law and procedure.
Best Houston DWI attorney
Best may be subjective, but the best Houston DWI attorney is a combination of credentials, like Board Certification in DWI and Board Certification in criminal defense, extensive trial experience, recognition by peers, recognition in the legal community represented by invitations to speaking engagements, thorough understanding of the science behind the field sobriety and chemical tests, and an aggressive, smart approach to each case without the intent to deal a plea but a true intent to fight each charge. Doug Murphy is one of Houston's best DWI attorneys.
Bicycle DWI occurs in states where a bicycle is defined as a vehicle and the person operating the “vehicle” has a BAC or BRAC reading of .08% or more.
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood alcohol content (BAC) refers to the percent of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. A BAC of .10% means there is one part alcohol for every 1000 parts blood. In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated when a BAC is .08% or higher.
A blood test is used to determine the blood alcohol content in a person's blood. The test requires a sample of the person's blood and measures the chemical components in the blood. Blood tests, however, are not always accurate; it depends on the handling (collection, storage, and testing) of the blood sample and the condition of the blood sample to be analyzed resulting from its handling. Only a DWI specialist will be able to accurately review the blood test and investigate its handling to determine if the blood test can successfully be challenged.
Board Certified Criminal Law
Board Certified criminal law is a designation granted to lawyers in Texas through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. It means the lawyer is a legal expert in the field and has proven the same through recognition by peers, rigorous testing, and extensive experience. This certification must be renewed on an annual basis. According to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, there are “over 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Only 7,250 have earned the right to be publicly recognized as Board Certified specialists in one of 24 select areas of law.”
Board Certified DWI Defense
Board certified DWI defense is a designation granted to lawyers in the United States through the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). The NCDD is a nonprofit, professional corporation with a mission to strengthen the DUI defense bar. It is the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to provide board certification in DWI defense law. Board certification in DWI / DUI defense means the lawyer is a legal expert in the field and has proven the same through recognition of peers, rigorous testing, and extensive experience.
Boating while Intoxicated
Boating while intoxicated is a criminal offense where a person operates a watercraft while either (1) impaired by drugs or alcohol so as not to have normal use of mental or physical faculties; (2) having a blood, breath, or urine alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. The offense ranges from a Class B misdemeanor (first offense) to a third-degree felony (third offense or more). The penalties follow the classification of the offense, and starts at up to 180 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000 and can increase to up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Bail bond is a promise to the court that you will appear at your hearings and trial if released for a certain amount of money. If you do so, the bail bond will be returned, but if you do not, then you will forfeit your money. The more DWI and DWI-related arrests and convictions you have, the higher you can expect your DWI bail amount to be.
Bond Conditions (a.k.a. Pre Trial Conditions)
Bond conditions are the conditions established when bond is set. These conditions must be met throughout the duration of your pending DWI case. If you violate a condition, you could be sent to jail while waiting for trial. The implementation of bail and conditions of bond are found under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 17.40. This section gives the judge the authority to “secure a defendant's attendance at trial” by imposing “any reasonable condition of bond related to the safety of the victim of the alleged offense or to the safety of the community.”
Booking is a procedure at a jail or police station where the police take personal information (e.g., name, address) from the arrestee and records information about the arrest (e.g., time of event, the alleged crime) and enters it into the police register.
A BrAC refers to breath alcohol content or concentration. Breath alcohol content (BrAC) is (accepted as being) proportional to the amount of alcohol present in the blood (BAC). Breath is measured by a breathalyzer to calculate the amount of alcohol in your system. Technically, if your BrAC is measured at .08%, then if you tested a blood sample, it too would be .08% BAC. BrAC and BAC are supposed to be interchangeable.
Breath Alcohol Content
Breath alcohol content (BrAC) is (accepted as being) proportional to the amount of alcohol present in the blood (BAC). Breath is measured by a breathalyzer that uses a breath sample to calculate the amount of alcohol in your system and converts it to a BAC reading. Technically, if your BrAC is measured at .08%, then if you tested a blood sample, it too would be .08% BAC. BrAC and BAC are supposed to be interchangeable.
A breath test is completed in Texas by use of the Intoxilyzer 9000. This machine is based on the theory of infrared spectrometry and is meant to determine a person's blood alcohol content or concentration. The machine, however, is unreliable. Breath tests, as a result, are inaccurate and prone to miscalculations.
A cash bond means the court will accept only cash for the full amount of bail rather than a surety bond where the amount is secured by equity in property or other collateral. Once the cash in the current bond amount is paid, an arrestee will be released from police custody.
Chemical tests in DWI cases refer to breath, blood, and urine tests used to calculate a person's blood alcohol level or to determine what and to what extent other chemical substances are in the system, like drugs -- whether it is marijuana, prescription, or illegal drugs.
Closing arguments refer to the argument the prosecutor and the defense attorney provide to the judge and jury at the end of a DWI trial in Texas. During closing arguments, lawyers can review and summarize evidence and key pieces of their case. They can also address the jury instructions and relate evidence to those instructions. It is the State attorney's final opportunity to persuade the judge or jury of the defendant's guilt and the defense attorney's final opportunity to persuade the judge or jury of his client's innocence.
Collateral consequences refer to damages that occur after a person's DWI (or other criminal) conviction (and sometimes after a person's arrest) that can do more harm to the person than the sum of the penalties imposed by the court. Collateral consequences include things like losing security clearance, losing a professional license (e.g., medical, nursing, teaching, CPA, real estate, SEC, pilot), having difficulty obtaining a job, securing custody of children, securing loans for a mortgage or education, owning or using a firearm, traveling domestically and internationally, among many other things. Collateral consequences can have a serious impact on a person's quality of life, and that is why it is ever so important to fight a charge to reduce the chances of a criminal record.
Community service is a common form of punishment in Texas for a DWI conviction, especially if it is a minor or a first-time offender. Community service can be an option to avoid jail or to shorten the length of time spent in jail.
Community supervision is what is commonly known as probation. Probation can be in the form of either (1) deferred adjudication probation or (2) straight or regular probation in Texas. It is an alternative to incarceration, allowing the offender -- found guilty by a judge or jury -- to live and work in his or her community, to be supported by family, to participate in rehabilitative services, and to make restitution to any victims of the crime(s).
County jail is a facility where you can be booked for a DWI and may have to spend the night after a DWI arrest by the Sheriff's Office. County jail is also where offenders of misdemeanor DWIs spend the duration of their incarceration sentence.
A court record is a record of a person's case, including the docket, which captures and preserves the court proceedings.
Criminal procedure refers to the rules governing criminal proceedings. In other words, it is the adjudicative process of criminal law and includes everything from the time of arrest to the time of sentencing and beyond.
A criminal record lists a person's previous criminal convictions and is usually fully searchable by the public.
Deferred adjudication in Texas is a type of community supervision that follows a plea of either guilty or no contest. Deferred adjudication means your case is put on hold while you complete community supervision. If you do so successfully, your case will be dismissed and you will not have a conviction on your record. But keeping to the terms and conditions of the probation can be difficult for some and if you violate it, then the conviction is entered and you have a criminal record. Only a judge and not a jury can place you on deferred adjudication.
Deferred prosecution refers to instances where a person enters a plea of guilty or no contest on paper and the prosecutor dismisses your case. Deferred prosecution does not include probation like deferred adjudication does, but it does establish terms and conditions for a certain period of time. So long as you comply with those terms and conditions through to the end of the time period, your conviction is eligible for expunction. If you violate the terms or conditions, the conviction is reinstated.
Discovery is the phase of criminal proceedings where attorneys for the state and for the defendant disclose evidence by producing documents, deposing parties and witnesses, submitting written interrogatories, and requesting admissions of fact. In Texas DWI cases, this includes breath tests, blood tests, field sobriety tests, expert witnesses, lay witnesses, police testimony, police reports, accident reconstruction reports, among other evidence.
A dismissal means the charge(s) has been dropped and there is no longer a case pending. Dismissal can materialize in one of two ways: (1) the State dismisses a case when it believes it is in want of evidence to support its arguments or when it determines the alleged offender is not the offender in question; or (2) a judge rules that the case is dismissed based on lack of evidence or other reason. A dismissal can be with prejudice or without prejudice. With prejudice means the case cannot be filed again while without prejudice means it can be re-filed, depending on the circumstances.
Drug Offender Education
A drug offender education program is a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation program for suspects of crimes related to drugs, like DWI marijuana. It is a standardized program lasting fifteen hours and is intended to increase the defendant's knowledge of drug use and abuse via specific topics, including drug/DWI laws. These programs have their advantages and disadvantages for the defendant.
A DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. Driving under the influence is an offense in Texas. It is primarily the same as driving while intoxicated with two specific distinctions (1) a DUI is reserved for those drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, and (2) a DUI can be charged for any trace amount of alcohol found in the body because Texas is a zero tolerance state.
DWI is the acronym for the Texas offense Driving While Intoxicated. DWI occurs when a person operates a vehicle while intoxicated, which means the person either (a) has a blood alcohol content of .08% or more or (b) has lost normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties. DWI can be charged as a first, second, third, or fourth DWI, and with each conviction, the penalties increase.
DWI Court in Harris County, Texas, is a program, also known as S.O.B.E.R. (Saving Ourselves by Education & Recovery). DWI Court is an alternative to sentencing and is designed to help clients with alcohol addictions. It is not always the best solution for qualifying candidates.
DWI CDL refers to commercial driver's license (CDL) holders driving while intoxicated. CDL holders operating a commercial vehicle are legally intoxicated when his or her blood alcohol content is measured at 0.04% or more rather than the standard 0.08% or more. Not only are CDL holders held to a higher standard while driving but if convicted, they face both the penalties of a DWI and likely CDL suspension or revocation -- and that means losing his or her livelihood.
DWI detection is a process police officers have been trained in and use to detect a driver who may be intoxicated while driving. There are three main parts of a DWI detection: (1) vehicle in motion; (2) personal contact; and (3) pre-arrest screening.
DWI drugs, also known as drugged driving in Texas, is driving while intoxicated by drugs. Drugs can include anything from over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, marijuana, or scheduled drugs. Sometimes a DRE expert may be called in to a traffic stop to investigate whether or not a driver may be under the illegal influence of a controlled substance.
A DWI Education program is a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation program for DWI offenders. It is a standardized program lasting twelve hours and is intended to increase the defendant's knowledge of alcohol and drug use and their respective impact on a person's capability to drive safely. These programs have their advantages and disadvantages for the defendant.
A DWI Intervention program is a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation program for DWI offenders with multiple DWI convictions. It is a standardized program lasting thirty-two hours and is intended to intervene in the offender's alcohol or drug abuse lifestyle and to help the offender get treatment to prevent future substance abuse. These programs have their advantages and disadvantages for the defendant.
DWI marijuana is a Texas offense that refers to operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana is illegal in Texas in all its forms and for all its purposes. DWI marijuana as a first-time and second-time offense are misdemeanors that can result in jail time between 3 days and 1 year while a DWI marijuana third-time conviction can result in prison for at least two years but can -- depending on the circumstances -- be up to 10 years. Fines can be up to $2,000 for a first-time offense, up to $4,000 for a second offense, and up to $10,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
DWI Prescription Drugs
DWI prescription drugs is a DWI offense committed while under the influence of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can impair your ability to drive and reduce the use of your physical and mental faculties. Penalties -- if convicted -- are generally the same as for any DWI, depending on the class of the offense.
DWI with a child passenger
DWI with a child passenger is a felony DWI offense in Texas that results when a person operating a vehicle while intoxicated has a child under the age of 15 in the same vehicle.
Expunction is the complete erasure or destruction of all records -- paper and electronic -- specific to an arrest or conviction. A first-time DWI offense is eligible for expunction.
A Texas felony is the most serious type of criminal offense. DWI felonies range from a state jail felony -- not technically in the degree system -- to felony in the third degree -- being the least serious -- to first degree -- being the most serious. Penalties are in accordance with the degree prescribed to the DWI felony. DWI felonies in Texas include a third or subsequent DWI, DWI with a child passenger, intoxication assault, and intoxication manslaughter.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests can be standardized or non-standardized, with the latter not being permissible in court. Standardized field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (NGN) test, walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. These tests are used during a DWI investigation, usually at a traffic stop, to help the police determine if there is probable cause for your arrest for a DWI charge. These field sobriety tests, however, are often inaccurate given the subjective nature and the various health and mental conditions a person performing the test may have.
Flying While Intoxicated
Flying while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor for a first-time offense. The crime occurs when a person operates an airplane (commercial or private) while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. The penalties are similar to a DWI but with the one distinction: a pilot can have his or her driver's license and pilot's license suspended -- even revoked, depending on the circumstances.
Ignition Interlock Device
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device installed in a vehicle to prevent a driver from starting the car if alcohol is detected on his or her breath. The IID is similar to a breathalyzer, the driver must breathe into the device for a reading of his or her BAC. The device is pre-programmed and specific to one person so that another person will not be able to use the machine.
Implied consent is a Texas law where a person implicitly agrees -- by attaining a Texas driver's license -- to a chemical test of his or her breath, blood, or urine, if she or he is suspected by a police officer of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Implied consent does not deny you the ability to refuse a breath test, but doing so means automatic license suspension.
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony offense unless the victim's injury results in a vegetative state or the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency personnel, under which case the offense is a second-degree felony. Intoxication assault is committed when a person operates a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and causes an accident that causes injury to another person, including a passenger of the offender's own vehicle.
Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony and occurs when a person operates a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and causes an accident that results in the death of another person.
Jury instructions are instructions the judge provides to a jury before it convenes to determine guilt or innocence and are meant as guidance to explain how the jury should make its decision. Instructions can be pivotal in a DWI case.
Jury selection, or voir dire, is a process by which a jury is selected to hear a DWI (or other criminal) case. Juries are made up on 12 persons in a district court and 6 persons in a county court. Both the State and the defense attorney partake in the jury selection process by being provided equal time to question the jury pool and selecting an equal number of jurors. Both the State and defense can challenge a selected juror for cause and if the judge agrees, the juror will be removed. This part of the trial process is vital because the jurors are those who will sit in judgment of the defendant -- so their impression about the issues of DWI, alcohol, and drugs matter greatly.
Jury trial is a trial by jury and is distinct from a bend trial. The jury makes a decision based on its findings of fact while the judge handles questions of law and procedure.
License suspension refers to a Texas driver's license suspended for a period of time due to either a DWI arrest in Texas. License suspension is automatic if a driver refused a chemical test or if the driver's BAC was .08% or more (.04% for CDL holders and any detectable amount for minors). You have 15 days from your DWI arrest to request an ALR hearing and defend your driver's license suspension.
Miranda Rights (a.k.a. Miranda Warning)
Miranda rights are protections provided by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S Constitution. You have the right to remain silent by not answering the police officers questions and you have the right to an attorney prior to any questioning.
Miranda Warning (a.k.a. Miranda Rights)
See Miranda Rights.
A misdemeanor DWI is a driving while intoxicated offense and refers to a driver's first or second-time arrested or convicted of a DWI. A first-time offense is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas while a second-time offense is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class B DWI misdemeanor can result in up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, up to 365 days license suspension, and an annual surcharge of $1,000 for 3 years. A Class A DWI misdemeanor can result in up to 365 days in jail, up to $4,000 in fines, up to 2 years license suspension, and an annual surcharge of $1,500 for 3 years.
Motion to Suppress
A motion to suppress evidence in a DWI case is a strategy that both the State and the defense can use to exclude evidence from trial. Motions to suppress evidence can be based on the grounds of an unconstitutional stop or unconstitutional search and seizure. Motions to suppress statements can be based on the grounds that the police failed to provide a defendant with his or her Miranda warning.
Non-disclosure refers to cases where a person's criminal record can be sealed. Sealing a record means that the criminal record is not available to the public but is held privately for the purposes of the courts, clerk of courts, law enforcement agents, and prosecutor's office. Misdemeanor DWIs often qualify for non-disclosure.
Notice of Suspension
A notice of suspension, or suspension notification, is a notice sent by the Texas Department of Public Safety to advise you that your driver's license or driving privileges will be suspended for a certain period of time for violating certain state laws. A DWI arrest and a conviction both qualify for license suspensions.
Open container is a Texas criminal offense charged when a police officer finds in a vehicle an open (including a broken seal) bottle, can, or other receptacle containing alcohol. The offense stands regardless if some of the contents were removed or not so long as the seal was broken. This offense is a Class C misdemeanor -- the least serious of all Texas criminal offenses -- and carries with it upon conviction a fine up to $500.
Opening arguments are the opening statements made by the State and the defense attorney at the start of a trial. Opening arguments are not supposed to be an argument (like the closing arguments are) but more like a statement of facts; it provides the party's legal position and previews the evidence to be introduced during the trial.
Operating an Amusement Ride
Operating an amusement ride a DWI offense in Texas when a person is intoxicated and operates the amusement ride while intoxicated. The penalties, if convicted, are similar to DWI penalties, and a conviction counts as a prior with respect to any future DWI arrests.
Out of State Resident DWI
Out of state resident DWI refers to a person who has been arrested for a DWI in Texas but is a resident of another state. The person is still charged with a DWI in Texas and must proceed with the process in Texas, not in his or her resident state.
A pink slip is a nickname for a Texas Department of Public Safety suspension notification. It acts as a temporary driving permit for 40 days at which time your license will be suspended. If you requested an ALR hearing, the pink slip or temporary permit is valid until the judge makes a final decision in the case.
A plea bargain, also known as a plea deal, is a negotiated agreement between the State and the criminal defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in place of certain conditions set out in the plea bargain and/or reduced charge(s) or dismissal of charge(s). Plea bargains are not often in the best interests of the defendant.
See plea bargain.
Portable Breath Test
A portable breath test (PBT) is an electronic breath test used most often at a traffic stop during a DWI investigation. Results from a PBT are highly unreliable and not supported by the scientific community. A PBT is not approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety and thus the results from the same cannot be used as evidence in criminal court or during an ALR hearing.
Pre-Trial Conditions (a.k.a. Bond Conditions)
See Bond Conditions.
A Texas preliminary hearing is required in Texas felony DWI cases. A preliminary hearing takes into consideration the State's case against you to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support a case. If the evidence is insufficient, the case will be dismissed. The State must only provide enough proof to satisfy probable cause -- the bar, therefore, is relatively low compared to a trial where the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.
Straight probation, also referred to as regular probation, is community supervision that allows an offender -- like a DWI offender -- to avoid jail or prison or to avoid the full jail or prison sentence by reducing the incarceration time.
Restitution means a defendant must either return property or provide monetary compensation to a victim of a crime. In DWI cases, restitution is most often related to felony DWI cases where car accident caused injury or death to another person(s). The defendant -- if convicted of the crime, like intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter -- may be court-ordered to provide the victim with monetary compensation. DWIs are generally considered victimless crimes because most often the offense occurs without a victim, but when there is a victim, restitution may be ordered so long as the record shows (1) the defendant caused the loss; and (2) the criminal offense was the proximate cause of the damages.
SCRAM Ankle Bracelet
A SCRAM ankle bracelet stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring. It is a hefty piece of equipment attached to a person's ankle as though it was a bracelet. SCRAM ankle bracelets measure the presence of alcohol in the person's sweat. A person is usually ordered to wear these devices as part of the terms of probation or because he or she is a repeat offender of DWI crimes.
A state jail is a minimum security prison facility. No one in a state jail facility is awaiting trial. This facility is for persons convicted of nonviolent state jail felonies.
State Jail Felony
A state jail felony is a felony where a person -- if convicted -- serves between 180 days and two years in a state jail rather than a state prison. Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger is a state jail felony in Texas.
State prison facilities are facilities meant to house felons serving long-term incarceration sentences or sentences with incarceration for at least one year or more.
Surcharges refer to accumulated points on your driver's license due to traffic violation or convictions of certain traffic violations, like those related to DWI. Surcharges last for three years and are owed to the State of Texas. A person convicted of a first-time DWI, the surcharge is $1,000 per year. A second-time or subsequent DWI offense is $1,500 per year. A DWI with a blood alcohol content of 0.16% or more is $2,000 per year.
A surety bond is a bail bond that occurs when a bond agent pays the defendant's bail for release from jail in exchange for collateral (e.g., real estate deeds). If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail money is forfeited by the court and the bond agent takes possession of the collateral (e.g., forecloses on the real estate) to recover the forfeited bail money.
A trial refers to that part of court procedures where the parties come together to dispute and argue their cases. With respect to criminal matters, the State puts forth its argument and evidence and the defense does the same. Both have the opportunity to counter each other's evidence and cross-examine each other's witnesses.
A urine test is a chemical test used to determine if a person was intoxicated while operating a vehicle in Texas. Urine tests are most likely to be used to determine the presence of controlled substances. They are less likely to be used to determine BAC because urine tests for alcohol are often unreliable and highly challengeable.
A verdict is the is the jury's finding of fact at the conclusion of a jury trial. In other words, it is the formal finding of guilty or not guilty to the charges.
Zero tolerance refers to Texas' police on minors and alcohol. As a zero tolerance state, any detectable amount of alcohol found in a minor's system while operating a vehicle is a reason for an arrest for a DUI (and sometimes a DWI) charge.