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Is a high alcohol tolerance helpful when fighting a DWI charge?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Alcohol compromises people’s decision-making ability and can lead to impulsive behavior. People have slightly different personalities while they are under the influence and often become much less inhibited. However, alcohol does not affect every person who consumes it in the exact same way.

In fact, two adults who are consuming the exact same beverage may display vastly different levels of impairment afterward. Those differences in impact often result from a different degree of alcohol tolerance. Various factors including someone’s sex, age and weight, as well as what they ate earlier in the day, will determine how strongly an alcoholic beverage affects them.

Some people can consume quite a bit of alcohol without displaying any signs of chemical impairment. Is a high tolerance for alcohol potentially a defense strategy when someone has been accused of drunk driving?

Having a high tolerance does not impact legal standards

Many people wrongfully think that they can prove they have a high tolerance for alcohol as a means of avoiding criminal consequences. However, the driving while intoxicated (DWI) law in Texas does not just prohibit operating a motor vehicle when someone knows they have diminished ability.

The law also makes it a crime to drive when someone is over the legal limit for their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For the average driver in Texas, the BAC limit is 0.08%, although young adults and commercial drivers are subject to lower limits. The state does not need to prove that someone demonstrated poor ability at the wheel. A successful DWI charge only needs to establish that the driver was over the legal limit for their BAC.

Lack of impairment could bolster with some defense strategies

While being okay to drive after drinking isn’t a defense strategy on its own, someone’s lack of impairment could influence the success of a different defense strategy. For example, if someone wants to challenge the accuracy of breath test results, showing that their driving ability was fine despite the high BAC returned by the testing unit could be a good way to raise questions about the accuracy of the test results.

Learning more about Texas DWI laws can help those who have been accused of drunk driving craft a potentially successful criminal defense strategy with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.