Does An Officer Need To Give Me A Breath Test For A Public Intoxication Arrest? What if the Officer fails to give me a breath or blood test? Can they really prove I'm Drunk in Public?
Unfortunately, Texas Law does not require a breath or blood test to actually prove a person is intoxicated. The Public Intoxication statute allows an Officer to rely on his or her own observations of a person when making the determination of whether an individual is Drunk in Public or Intoxicated to the point where an arrest is likely.
Those observations can include things like an indivdual's mood or demeanor, speech, gait, and whether they stumble or repeatedly fall down. Other aspects, such as blood shot eyes, smell of alcohol, and slurred speech also play a role in an officer's decision on whether to make an arrest for Public Intoxication, as do factors such as stumbling or walking into traffic, shouting or yelling, and rowdy behavior.
There is no specific Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) that sets a limit for Drunk in Public or Public Intoxication arrests. Unlike DWI arrests where there is a Legal Limit of .08% BAC, an officer making a Public Intoxication Arrest is not required to test an indivudual with blood or urine test, nor are they required to adminster a Breath Test on a Drunk in Public Arrest.
Once the case reaches Court, the Prosecutor can and will rely on the arresting officer's observation of the defendant to prove the individual was intoxicated to the point of endangering himself or herself or those around.
That's why it's important to keep track of potential witnesses who not only drank with the defendant, but also were able to observe him or her just before or during the Drunk in Public Arrest.