Drunk Driving FAQ's

Q: What is "blood-alcohol concentration" or "blood-alcohol level"?

A: Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is the level of alcohol in the bloodstream from drinking alcoholic beverages. BAC readings are used in court as evidence in drunk-driving cases. The most common method of measure is a breath test, although blood and/or urine testing is sometimes done. A result of .08 or higher may establish a presumption of intoxication.

Q: Can I refuse a Breathalyzer® test?

A: YES YOU CAN REFUSE A BREATH TEST. Texas has its own version of an implied consent law providing that a driver impliedly consents to alcohol testing just by the act of driving. In Texas, a refusal to take a breath test is itself a civil violation subject to penalties. For example, refusing a breath test might result in automatic drivers-license suspension or revocation. Your test refusal may also be used as evidence against you in a drunk-driving case. In Texas if you refuse the breath test your license is suspended. In Texas if you fail the breath test you license is suspended.

Q: Are breath-test results always accurate?

A: Texas allows challenges based on the particular circumstances of a test, such as improperly calibrated equipment or inadequately trained officers. If the test results are inadmissible or can be challenged, the case will probably have to be proven based on other evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and field-sobriety test results. Experts are expensive.

Q: What if I lose my license but continue to drive?

A: If a person whose license has been revoked or suspended due to drunk driving chooses to drive without a valid license and is pulled over, he or she stands to suffer more serious consequences, including possible fines, jail time and probation revocation. In Texas you may be eligible for an occupational license.

Q: How can I get automobile insurance after a drunk-driving conviction?

A: Although your rates will likely be higher, your insurer may continue to insure you even after a conviction. A subsequent clean-driving record may result in lower rates in the future. If your insurer drops you as a result of the conviction, another insurance company may be willing to accept the risk. In fact, some companies specialize in offering nonstandard insurance to drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving, but the rates are much higher. Another possible source of insurance for high-risk drivers may be state insurance programs created for just these types of drivers.

Call Penny Wymyczak-White 281-733-0264