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Lab Errors in a Texas DWI

Posted by Doug Murphy | Nov 09, 2021 | 0 Comments

If the police arrested you for a DWI in Texas, you might be worried about what will happen next. You may also be concerned about how a DWI conviction will affect your life. Your concerns are valid, but it's important not to jump ahead and assume that a court will convict you. Even with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit, a DWI charge isn't insurmountable. With an expert in DWI defense by your side, you'll have the best possible chance for a good outcome.

What is a DWI in Texas?

Texas law defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle in a public place:

  • With a BAC of .08% or higher, or .04% or higher if you have a commercial driver’s license, or
  • When you no longer have the normal use of your physical or mental faculties.

See Tex. Criminal Code § 49.01. A DWI in Texas doesn't have to involve a BAC over the legal limit. Under Texas law, the police can also arrest you for DWI if you no longer have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Of course, this is a subjective standard, so many DWI arrests do involve a BAC over the legal limit of .08% or .04%.

Determining BAC in Texas

While the legal BAC limit in Texas is a more objective standard than the police trying to determine whether you have the “normal use of your mental or physical faculties,” BAC tests aren't completely dependable. Errors can happen in both blood and breath BAC testing.

It's important to remember that while BAC testing is much more objective than police observations, the tests are also run by humans who make mistakes. Lab errors can include:

  • The lab tech fails to handle the sample properly,
  • The lab fails to store your sample properly,
  • The tech collecting your blood sample doesn't use the proper amount of anticoagulant,
  • The lab mixes your sample up with someone else's,
  • The lab fails to retain some of your blood for future testing or doesn't collect enough blood,
  • The equipment testing your blood hasn't been properly maintained, cleaned, or serviced,
  • The lab tech running the test wasn't properly trained,
  • The blood samples coagulate or ferment, or
  • Someone breaks the chain of custody with your blood samples.

An expert in DWI defense will know how to look for these possible errors and develop the best possible defense for you in response.

You Need an Expert in Texas DWI Defense

If you're facing a DWI charge in Texas, you need the help of an expert in DWI defense. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in Texas DWI defense and criminal defense law. Doug is Board Certified in both DWI Defense and Criminal Defense Law, making him an expert in these fields. Moreover, he is one of only two attorneys in the entire state who is Board Certified in both these fields.

The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association also awarded Doug the Sharon Levine Unsung Hero Award for his role in exposing flaws in the Houston Police Department's Breath Alcohol Testing vans, which led to HPD decommissioning the vans. Recently, U.S. News and World Report also named Doug to its list of Best Lawyers in America for DWI defense in Houston for 2021. He can help you too. Contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm today online or call 713-229-8333 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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