Yes, you can be convicted of a DUI without a blood test. When facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI), there are other forms of evidence the prosecution can use to convict you.
These pieces of information can include:
- The results of a field sobriety test
- The arresting officer’s testimony
- The results of a breathalyzer test
- Eyewitness testimony
Under §106.041 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, it is illegal for a minor to operate a boat or motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If so, they could face a fine no more than $2,000, jail time lasting no more than 180 days, or both. The minor may also be asked to complete an educational course and community service. If are facing DUI charges, you may want to consider legal representation.
Methods for Testing Intoxication
As we mentioned before, you can be convicted of a DUI without a blood test.
If you are pulled over for drinking and driving, law enforcement may employ one or more of the following tests:
Field Sobriety Test
When the police pull someone over for suspicion of drunk driving, they might perform some field sobriety tests (FST) while making notes of the performance. The FST aims to measure one’s level of physical and mental impairment.
Some FST includes:
- Asking you to follow particular instructions while you’re walking in a straight (visible or imaginary) line
- Suspending one leg in the air while standing on the other
- Observing your pupils while you focus your eyes on a mobile object like a pen
- Reciting the alphabet
- Counting backward from a specified number
You have the right to refuse an FTS. However, under Texas’s implied consent laws, you are required to consent to a breathalyzer or blood test. If you decline to take these tests, the refusal can be used against you.
The Officer’s Testimony
Other than providing evidence of the FST results, the prosecution may have the arresting officer bear witness to observations made during your arrest.
The officer may call to attention:
- Evidence recovered from your car, like empty or open alcohol containers
- The smell of alcohol on your breath
- Watery, bloodshot eyes
- Slurred speech
- Having observed you driving recklessly
- Statements you voluntarily made at the time of your arrest
If the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated at the time of your arrest, you could be charged with a DUI.
You can be convicted of a DUI without a blood test if a breath test shows that you were drunk at the time of your arrest. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), you could be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was higher than 0.08%. However, if you were drinking and driving as a minor, this may not apply, since drinking under the age of 21 is illegal regardless. The results of your breathalyzer test could convict you of a crime.
The prosecution may call upon witness testimony to provide additional evidence in your case. For example, if you left a party while visibly intoxicated, the people at the party may testify against you. While this may not be the only form of evidence against you, the idea behind a DUI charge is to prove that you were most likely drunk at the time of your arrest.
Some actions or behaviors that could establish probable cause in your case could include:
- Swerving in traffic
- Nearly hitting an object, other vehicles, or a pedestrian
- Slamming on your brakes
- Driving too slowly
- Persistent tailgating
This is not meant to serve as an exhaustive list.
Consider Legal Representation
Being charged with a crime can have serious implications on your future and ambitions. Even though the arresting officer may not have offered a blood test at the time of your arrest, this has no bearing on the prosecution’s ability to convict you of a crime if there is already sufficient evidence to do so. For that reason, you may want to consider working with a criminal defense lawyer.
Your lawyer can take measures to have the charges against you lessened or dismissed.
They may be able to argue that:
- You were not drunk at the time of your arrest.
- The grounds for pulling you over in the first place was unwarranted.
- The evidence against you does not merit the pending charges.
- The results of the tests conducted were inaccurate.
You have taken measures to prevent the incident from happening again (such as enrolling in a substance abuse program), and therefore, should be let go with a warning.
You have the right to represent yourself. However, for whatever reason, this may not appeal to you.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg
While you can be convicted of a DUI without a blood test, you still have options when it comes to your defense. At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how DUI cases unfold and can take measures on your behalf to safeguard your future.
To get started with a free consultation, call us today at (214) 696-9253.