From today’s Austin American Statesman article about an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the presumption of innocence for DWI cases in Texas:
A third proposal would have simplified the method used for determining a person’s blood-alcohol content at the time he or she was driving.
The proposal, House Bill 915, by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, would have specified that if a driver’s blood-alcohol content is higher than the legal limit of 0.08 within 90 minutes of being pulled over, the driver would be considered intoxicated.
"Right now, the problem is you have to prove they were intoxicated while driving," Aycock said. [Emphasis Mine]
So it’s a problem that the State has to meet their burden of proving guilt beyond all reasonable doubt? A problem that can be fixed with some legislation?
Fortunately, this bill was voted down by the House Law Enforcement Committee. I’ve written previously about the “Rising BAC defense” that is available to some DWI defendants in Texas. Being over .08 at the time of the breath test does not necessarily mean you were over .08 at the time of driving.
But some lawmakers objected to “forcing” the State to prove their case, so they attempted to create a presumption that any breath test within 90 minutes of driving would automatically do the trick.
…said the bill would create a presumption of guilt.
"What that really means is, we need to make it easy for convictions, and when science and other things get in the way, let’s disregard them," Gonzalez said.
Politicians can’t change the science of breath or blood alcohol testing…and Texans should continue to object to illogical manipulations of DWI statutes.