Tag Archives: breath

The Dangers of DWI No Refusal Weekends in Houston

No Refusal weekends are a new phenomenon coined by law enforcement to advertise that police agencies will ask for a search warrant to seize a blood sample from a driver, if you refuse to take the breath test. The state of Texas allows a driver to refuse a breath or blood test, unless a judge issues a search warrant.

The idea behind DWI No Refusal Weekends is this: law enforcement wants you to make it easy for them to get evidence to convict you if you have done something wrong. However, among the many problems with DWI testing administered by law enforcement, breath test evidence is the most unreliable scientific evidence because it is based upon the theory of getting air from the lungs, and testing it for alcohol saturation. In truth, that is not where breath alcohol comes from. Breath alcohol comes from the entire air system throughout your body–not just the deep lung area making the breath test fundamentally flawed and inaccurate.

Intoxilyzer 5000 EN DWI breath testing device BAC testing myths

What are some BAC testing myths?

If you think popping a breath mint after a few drinks will mask alcohol odor and fool the officer who just stopped you for suspicion of DWI, think again. The police officer’s nose can’t detect blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in your breath, but adding an odor (even one as pungent as an onion) doesn’t change the alcohol concentration in your body. One of the biggest BAC testing myths is that a breathalizer–even one that’s properly calibrated–will still falsely read that you have alcohol in your breath.

One of the BAC testing myths: Breath mints cover up alcohol

Some products like mouthwash can actually yield an abnormally high reading on a breathalizer because they contain a high percentage of alcohol. Instead of popping a breath mint or rinsing with mouthwash before you head back on the road after drinking, consider staying where you are until your body has processed the alcohol and your BAC is back to legal limits. It’s the safer choice for you and for everyone else on the road to avoid the inaccurate breath testing and just stay where you are.

Be aware however, that even with proper precautions on your part, a breathalyzer can still give an erroneous reading.

Inaccurate Breath Testing Leads to Misleading Alcohol Measurement

The breathalizer can yield a false reading when it measures the amount of alcohol present in your mouth rather than the alcohol in the bloodstream. Mouth alcohol can come from belching or burping; if a person has acid reflux, this can also contribute to a high level of mouth alcohol and give an inaccurate reading on the breathalizer.

Interfering Compounds

Inaccurate breath testing comes from a breathalizer that detects other compounds that have a similar composition to alcohol. Exposure to ordinary items such as paint remover, gasoline, cleaning fluids, etc. can result in an abnormally high and incorrect BAC reading. However, this usually occurs only with older breathalizer units. Newer machines are more finely calibrated and are equipped to detect any compound interference and compensate for it.

As one of the leading DWI lawyers in Houston, Trichter & Murphy can help you understand BAC testing myths with any DUI or DWI case. Call us at the earliest possible time after being stopped for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Let us handle your case from the very beginning. Having a reputable Houston criminal defense attorney on your side greatly increases your chances of a favorable outcome and keeping your license. Call us 24/7 to speak to an attorney.