Determining whether a driver is under the influence (DUI) of marijuana has long been an issue for law enforcement officers in the state of Texas. Unlike alcohol, marijuana intoxication is often difficult to detect and cannot be accurately measured through a roadside test like a breathalyzer. As a result, DWI convictions based on marijuana were often difficult to obtain. This may soon be changing, however, as CBS News reported late last year that a California based company has created a marijuana breathalyzer that will be able to measure that amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a person’s breath. These devices are being developed largely in response to the perception of an increased problem with stoned drivers in states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
A Breathalyzer will not Result Automatic Convictions
Many people are under the mistaken impression that breathalyzer evidence, whether related to alcohol or other substances, is incontrovertible and will always result in a conviction. This is certainly not the case, and there are many situations in which an experienced attorney can cast doubt on the results of a breathalyzer test or even have the evidence excluded completely. Some of the more common legal challenges to breathalyzer evidence include the following:
- Arguing that evidence that was gathered was done so in violation of a suspect’s constitutional rights;
- Introducing evidence that the breathalyzer used was improperly calibrated; and
- Establishing that the officer that performed the test was improperly trained.
Whether any of these or other defenses applies in a particular case depends on a variety of factors, so it is important for anyone that has been accused of drunk or drugged driving to have their case thoroughly reviewed by an experienced attorney. In addition, even when there are no defenses available, an attorney can often negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor handling a case that avoids the more serious criminal penalties that a defendant may be facing.
Contact an Austin DWI Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should contact an experienced Austin criminal defense attorney immediately. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call Buford & Gonzalez today at 512-476-444.