Refuse The Breathalyzer Test | Explained by a Criminal Attorney
Rule #1 – You Should Never Drive While Intoxicated
If you end up under arrest for DWI, most criminal defense lawyers will advise you not to take the breath or blood test unless the police officer produces a valid search warrant for those tests, and here is why:
4 Reasons to Refuse The Breathalyzer in Texas
Article contributed to Texas Crime Lawyer Magazine by Houston Criminal Attorney Daniel Lazarine. Read his DWI Blog here.
1) Don’t help the police gather evidence against you.
Make no mistake about it, the police get paid to find and arrest CRIMINALS! We (as in We The People) pay them to do that. We do not pay them to find innocent people, or to prove that any person is innocent of any crime.
When a police officer pulls you over because he suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, his goal is to gather enough evidence to find exactly what he is looking for (guilt / probable cause that you have committed a crime) so that he can arrest you on those charges.
YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO HELP THE POLICE PROVE THAT YOU ARE GUILTY!
I don’t know why it is so difficult for people to understand this fact.
We wrote this in our Constitution, and people have fought and died to secure this protection for us.
2) It is the ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS vs. you
As a sovereign nation, Texas would be the 12th largest economy in the world.
And when they arrest you (on suspicion of DWI), they are going to bring all the money and power that this great state has to bear against you.
As your Criminal Attorney, Daniel Lazarine, it is my job to defend you against the entire State of Texas.
The State of Texas will have an endless budget to buy prosecutors, crime labs, crime lab analysts, police officers, expert witnesses, and to purchase the latest DWI equipment, such as the Intoxilyzer 9000.
All in an effort to prove that you are guilty; to prove that the police officer who has already arrested you for driving while intoxicated was in fact correct in his road side (completely biased) personally-formed opinion, backed by zero years of medical school training.
The Government is NOT spending all of this time, effort, and money to prove that they are wrong.
Considering this gigantic advantage that the State has, do you still feel the compulsion to voluntarily blow or give blood so that you can help them gather evidence against you?
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3) The Crime Lab is
Corrupt Mishandles Evidence!
HOUSTON — Lab analysts at the Houston Forensic Science Center contaminated evidence in three DWI cases last year, according to an Office of the Inspector General report the KHOU 11 News I-Team obtained. –http://www.khou.com/news/investigations/crime-lab-analysts-made-same-mistake-in-3-dwi-cases/102455143
And those are the incidents that we know about – the few that actually end up in the News.
“Mistakes are going to happen, they’ll happen in the future, we’ve made mistakes in the past, it’s how we deal with those mistakes,” Stout said. “We have to react quickly and effectively to them. –http://www.khou.com/news/investigations/crime-lab-analysts-made-same-mistake-in-3-dwi-cases/102455143 (emphasis, bolding, added by me).
Let’s assume that you decide to help the police prove that you are guilty by voluntarily taking a field sobriety test or breath test in a criminal case.
That evidence may just be “mishandled,” and later used to prove your guilt.
You may serve jail time for it, pay a large fine, lose your drivers license – basically change the landscape of your entire life.
All because the crime lab, whom the State funds to help prove your guilt, mishandled some evidence – but hey, mistakes happen.
4) The Breath Test Machine is Not Perfect.
Many jurisdictions in Texas have begun switching from the Intoxilyzer 5000 to the Intoxilyzer 9000. (http://news4sanantonio.com/news/trouble-shooters/is-the-new-dwi-test-as-accurate-as-it-needs-to-be)
But no matter the type of machine is used, human beings (working for the government) are responsible for making sure the machines are functioning properly.
But anytime you use machines and devices, there are several factors that can cause unreliable results. For example…
- How often are these Intoxilyzers calibrated?
- Who is calibrating them?
- What kind of training have the people who calibrate these devices received?
- How often are they re-trained?
- Does the machine test specifically for alcohol?
- Do other interferents affect the test result?
- Do certain medical conditions affect the breath test?
- Is the breath sample you give preserved for retesting?
- Does the machine account for when you stopped drinking?
- Does the machine account for your particular “deep lung” breath?
- What quality control program is in place to ensure that these devices are always 100% accurate?
- Are these machines ever 100% accurate?
- What is the margin of error?
Has your car, computer, or iPhone ever malfunctioned? Did you go to jail for it?
About The Author:
Texas Crime Lawyer Magazine would like to thank Daniel Lazarine, a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston, TX for contributing this guest post article. You may contact him at (713) 224-4000 for a free consultation. Links to his social media have been added below.
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