DWI Terms & Definitions

DWI Terms & Definitions - Travis County DWI Lawyer

Breath Test

A breath test in a DWI criminal case is where a person suspected of DWI or driving while intoxicated is asked to blow air into a tube on a device used to detect alcohol. The test is generally given to establish probable cause for DWI arrest where the subject's breath test results register 0.08% BAC or higher.


The Breathalyzer is a DWI alcohol detection and testing device used to determine whether a person is above the legal limit of BAC when driving. It is one of several makers of DWI breath test units.


The Intoxicator is a DWI alcohol detection machine used to establish whether a driver in a suspected DWI stop is intoxicated beyond .08% BAC. Intoxicator is one of several makers of DWI breath test devices.

BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration

BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration is a volume of alcohol in the bloodstream compared to the rest of body fluids. The amount of alcohol in the body fluids has a specific ratio of alcohol present in the breath, once the lung sac absorbs alcohol. BAC is the value given, typically in a percentage, to identify a person's intoxication level despite age, weight, and other factors, at a specific point in time.

Field Sobriety Tests or FSTs

Field Sobriety Tests, or FSTs are physical tests administered by a police officer during a DWI investigation, ranging from walking a straight line, touching the tip of the nose, or checking eyes with a flashlight.

Legal Limit 0.08%

0.08% is the legal limit of BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration a person may possess at the time of driving, meaning to legally drive with alcohol in the system, a driver must have a BAC under 0.08%.

License Suspension Hearing for DWI

Once a DWI has occurred, even in the arrest phase, DPS gets involved by suspending a driver's Texas issued Driver's License. The suspected or arrested DWI driver is issued a temporary driver's license valid for a short period of time. Within ten days of the DWI arrest, there will be a DWI administrative hearing, where the DWI driver may contest or argue the driver's license suspension.

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