Texas DUI Limit

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In every state, there is a legal limit for the amount of alcohol you should have in your system when operating a vehicle. Texas places the limit at 0.08% for blood alcohol content (BAC) or breath alcohol content (BrAC). People found with a BrAC or a BAC of 0.08 or higher are presumed to be legally intoxicated.

To know your BrAC or your BAC, police have to pull you over and perform a preliminary breath test and other field sobriety tests.  These tests are conducted to determine whether to arrest you for a DUI or DWI.

What If You Pass The Breath Test?

Passing the breath test does not mean that you will be released.  Texas has two types of breath tests, the portable breath test used by the roadside and the evidentiary breath test. For an evidentiary breath test to be performed, the police have to arrest you and take you back to the station where a bigger and more accurate evidentiary breath test machine is kept.

But they must first determine that your mental and physical faculties are impaired. They use the field tests such as the PBT to justify the arrest.  The test results from the portable breath test are not admissible in court but the evidentiary breath test is admissible.

In Texas, a DWI charge is serious meaning that you need an experienced DWI attorney to help defend you.  Contact a DWI attorney if you have been charged with a DWI because your BAC or BrAC was under 0.08.

What Is A PBT?

A preliminary breath test is a breath test that is performed at a traffic stop. But the PBT abbreviation is also used to refer to the device used to perform those tests. Results from a PBT are not deemed to be accurate and are not admissible in court for that reason.

So, the machine is only used to determine whether further tests such as the evidentiary breath test or a blood test are needed.  But a PBT can show that your BAC is 0.08 even when your faculties are impaired to a point where you should not operate a vehicle.  It may also show that your BAC is above 0.08 and so on.

Police are known to use these tests to intimidate innocent drivers.

Why A Result Below 0.08 Can Still Result In An Arrest

Law enforcement can still arrest you if your PBT test result is below the legal limit.  Sometimes people who pass the test still show signs of intoxication. That is your mental and physical faculties still seem impaired. In this case, they will ask you to perform the following standardized field sobriety tests:

  • A one-leg stand test
  • A walk-and-turn test
  • A horizontal gaze nystagmus

The nature of these tests is self-explanatory. The officers will be observing the individual taking the tests to spot any behavior that may indicate legal intoxication.  You should contact an experienced DUI lawyer if you are arrested.

Your lawyer can start preparing a defense for you immediately after your arrest.