Three DWI Myths That Might Surprise You

Posted by Doug Murphy | Dec 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

For as long as driving while intoxicated has been a crime in Texas, there have been myths and misconceptions about the offense. Misconceptions about the law and false tips to beat a breathalyzer have always spread like wildfire, particularly in the age of the internet.

These myths can be problematic when taken seriously. If you are relying on bad information to prevail in a criminal trial or trick a breathalyzer, you are putting yourself at unnecessary risk. Below, we consider some of the common myths about DWI.

Myth #1: A Penny in Your Mouth will Trick a Breathalyzer

A rumor that has floated around for decades is that placing a penny in your mouth could lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) result on a breathalyzer test. The theory goes that the metal in the penny somehow reacts with the breathalyzer, giving off a false negative. There is no scientific evidence to suggest this is true, as there are no studies to suggest any substance can lower the BAC levels of a breathalyzer test. On the contrary, there are a variety of substances like mouthwash that might raise your BAC artificially.   Residual mouth alcohol is scientifically known to falsely elevate a breath test, as does residual food or tobacco in the mouth during a breath test.

Myth #2: You Can Only Be Arrested for DWI if Caught in the Act

This myth is easy to disprove. DWI arrests occur all the time even when no one witnessed the suspect driving. While most DWI arrests occur after the police witness an alleged drunk driver make some sort of traffic violation, there is no rule that says they must. Prosecutors can use other circumstantial evidence to make the case the defendant was driving, even if there is no witness testimony to suggest that was the case.  Many DWI charges have this issue and it is important to hire an experienced DWI lawyer who knows the best way to defeat this type of DWI case.

Myth #3: Breath Tests are Always Accurate

Police and prosecutors routinely and confidently argue that a breathalyzer test with a result above the legal limit is evidence of intoxication. The reality is that breath tests are often wrong. In some cases, the results are not even close to reality. Breath tests can be inaccurate when the machines are not properly calibrated or the user is not appropriately trained. Other factors like food or even medical conditions can falsely raise a BAC.

Put your Case in the Hands of a Houston DWI Lawyer

There is no silver bullet to beating a DWI or tricking a breathalyzer test. Likewise, not everything the police claim following a DWI arrest will be true. The laws regarding DWI arrests are complex, and relying on urban legends as your defense is a good way to wind up with a criminal record. If you are serious about fighting a DWI charge, hiring the right defense attorney is the most important move you can make.

If you are facing a DWI charge in Houston, contact attorney Doug Murphy right away. Doug Murphy is a Board Certified expert in both DWI defense and criminal defense law. His aggressive approach to DWI defense has resulted in many successful trial outcomes for his clients. Call right away to set up your free consultation with the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C.

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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