DWI: Blood Alcohol Tests in Houston

A frequent question when being investigated for DWI or charged with DWI / DUI in Houston, Texas concerns the Blood Alcohol Test. In this post we will cover some general information and frequently asked questions concerning the general blood test. If you refuse the breathalyzer test then in all likelihood a magistrate will be called and a warrant will be issued for a blood alcohol test, at which time a blood sample will be taken either at a local hospital or at a police station.

Failing the Blood Alcohol Test in Houston

Probably the single most common question asked of a DWI criminal defense attorney is whether a case can be won even if someone fails the blood alcohol test? The answer is yes, it is still possible to beat a DWI charge in Houston even if a suspect fails the blood alcohol test. This is done by challenging the test on the protocol and procedure under which the analysis was taken. There are very strict guidelines concerning how a blood alcohol sample is obtained. See our Texas DWI Information page for details, but if you have had a blood alcohol sample taken within the context of being charged with a DWI, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately so that the procedure under which the sample was taken can be put under scrutiny to make sure your rights have not been violated.

When a blood sample is taken, this will happen either at a local hospital or police station. Most hospitals use a invalid forensic method in analysis of the blood sample. The method used by many hospitals [enzymatic assay method] can produce false blood alcohol level results – for this reason if your sample was taken at a local hospital, it is very possible your results can be challenged by an experienced DWI attorney. It is important to remember that the burden of proof is on the state to demonstrate that their method of analyzing the evidence is scientifically valid. They must produce an expert witness who can prove this.

Furthermore, unless there are extreme overriding circumstances, such as a serious automobile accident or the suspect has prior DUI convictions, police must obtain a warrant prior to taking a blood alcohol sample. As above, the burden of proof is on the state to demonstrate such circumstances.

Even if a warrant was issued for your blood draw, you are protected by the Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure. This means that the state must demonstrate there was probable cause and in particular no reckless disregard for facts or excessive force employed. If your rights are violated the validity of the warrant will be called into question and challenged.

To summarize, failing a blood alcohol test does not automatically mean a DWI conviction. There are high standards that the state must follow in order for your result to be admissible as evidence and even if charged with a DWI you have rights and defenses available to you. We have decades of experience helping people charged with DWI in Houston and a verifiable winning record. If you or someone you know is facing criminal DWI charges, contact us today by phone at 832-328-0600 or use the quick email form for a free confidential consultation regarding your case. We will immediately go to work for you to provide the best defense possible.

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Houston DWI Attorney Carl Haggard