Call for a FREE consultation at (713) 222-6767

Legal Blog

Ned Barnett Completes Advanced DWI Defense Training

Published: Jun 27, 2016 in Criminal Defense, DUI

Houston DWI attorney Ned Barnett added another weapon to his drunk driving defense arsenal by completing advanced-level training on the improper use of portable breath test (PBT) machines by police officers during traffic stops.

The training was offered by the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, a professional association based in Idaho that is dedicated to the professional development of DWI lawyers. The association’s goal is to ensure that DWI defense lawyers have the skill and knowledge necessary to provide the strongest defenses for people accused of driving under the influence. Ned Barnett is a founding member of the association.

Why PBT Training Matters

PBT training uses information gleaned from judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and DWI defense lawyers to educate lawyers about the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s standards and protocols for using portable breath test machines. The federal agency sets the guidelines for proper use of PBTs by law enforcement — but law enforcement doesn’t always follow the guidelines when investigating suspected DWI offenses.

The improper use of a portable breath test machine can lead to inaccurate results, and in turn affect the outcome of a criminal DWI case. Many states don’t allow the use of PBT results as evidence of a DWI itself, but the results can be used by law enforcement to establish probable cause for an arrest.

What you may not know is that, unlike the implied consent requirement to submit to a formal breath test following a lawful arrest, you can refuse a PBT without getting your driver’s license suspended in Texas. There are serious questions about the reliability of these machines, which are handheld and usually about the size of a deck of cards. Inaccurate results may occur if you have used mouthwash, taken cough syrup, eat a low carb diet, or simply have diabetes. Because of the unreliability of PBT machines, the Texas Department of Public Safety has not approved the machines for use in criminal prosecutions or even for the purpose of an administrative license suspension.

Contact a Skilled Houston DWI Defense Lawyer

The advanced PBT training is Ned Barnett’s latest achievement as he strives to provide highly skilled Houston DWI defense. Barnett also is certified as an operator of the larger evidentiary breath test machines used to administer BAC tests at a police station, which can be used as evidence in your prosecution. Further, he has certifications in roadside field sobriety testing and gas chromatography, the technique used to analyze blood samples in DWI cases.

When you’re facing a Texas DWI charge, you need a lawyer who can evaluate and challenge every aspect of the prosecution’s case against you. Ned Barnett has the knowledge and experience to do just that. He’s a former prosecutor and has been certified as a criminal defense lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for more than 20 years.

Contact Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767 to schedule a consultation about your DWI case.