DWI Chemical Tests
Officer Decides Between Breath, Blood or Urine Test
Under Texas law the officer has the right to determine which type of sample to request. For example, if the officer requests a breath sample and you will consent only to a blood test, your license is subject to suspension as a refusal. However, if you submit to a chemical test you have the right to have a physician, qualified technician, chemist, or registered professional nurse take an additional sample of your blood for analysis. Your request must be made within two hours of your arrest and the police are not required to transport you for testing.
Penalties - Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
Driving While Intoxicated is a class B misdemeanor with a range of punishment of 3 to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. However, Texas law increases punishment for persons with prior DWI convictions. An individual who pleads "guilty" or "no contest" to a DWI charge may not received deferred adjudication.
Intoxilyzer 5000 - Breath Testing Device
The State of Texas uses the Intoxilyzer 5000 to determine a person's breath-alcohol concentration. The Intoxilyzer's manufacturer claims the device works on the principle of Infrared Spectrometry. A sample of the subject's breath is collected in the device's sample chamber. At one end of the chamber is a light bulb. At the other end is a light detector. The machine measures the amount of light that passes through the chamber when no alcohol is present. This is this compared with the amount of light passing through the chamber after a sample of the subject's breath is introduced. In theory, the alcohol in a breath sample will absorb some of the light, thus the less light that passes through a breath sample the higher the concentration of alcohol. The Intoxilyzer has a computer chip which processes the results of the test to arrive at a specific alcohol concentration. The calculations the device performs are unknown as the manufacturer refuses to release the computer code.
You may be interested to learn that the Intoxilyzer's manufacturer does not warrant that it is fit to accurately determine the alcohol concentration in human breath. In addition, there is no way to check the accuracy of results obtained by using this device because the State refuses to preserve breath specimens for future testing.