Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 % or higher will automatically result in DWI charges in Texas. Both local and state law enforcement agencies use various types of chemical tests to calculate a person’s BAC including urine analysis. Law enforcement will typically use urine analysis when they suspect a person is under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol.
Although urine testing is more accurate than a breathalyzer, it’s not without error. Urine tests can yield false or skewed results due to both external and internal factors. Medical procedures during testing must be followed to a T, and if they aren’t the sample may be too contaminated to test. Not only this, but urine tests can only show what drugs are in your system. The tests don’t exhibit when you used the drugs, and if you’re a frequent user you may test positive for a drug you used previously. That means you could be charged with DWI even though you hadn’t used any substances in days, weeks, or even months.
If you’ve undergone urine testing for DWI, we highly encourage you to speak to an experienced Texas DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Cameron County Lawyer for DUI Urine Tests | DWI Chemical Testing
Contact the skilled and resourceful attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. if you’re in need of a criminal defense. Our DWI Brownsville attorneys have an in-depth understanding of DWI chemical testing, including urine analysis. We can utilize this knowledge and our experience to build an effective and efficient defense for you. Call today at 956-504-2211 to set up your first consultation.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Cameron County and Willacy County area including Brownsville, Olmito, San Benito, Los Fresnos, La Feria, Rio Hondo, Harlingen, Palm Valley, Lyford, Raymondville, and San Perlita.
- How DWI Urine Testing Works
- What Happens When You Refuse a Urine Test?
- Accuracy of DWI Urine Tests
- Additional Resources
Urine Alcohol Test Results Explained
Urine analysis is used by law enforcement to calculate blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Officers will usually ask a person to undergo urine testing if they suspect the person is under the influence of a controlled substance. If you comply with the request, the officer will then transport you to the nearest police station or hospital.
There you will give a sample and if it’s a hospital you’ll get your results in a few hours and if they were sent to a lab your results will be sent to you in the mail. Lab technicians or healthcare workers will measure the number of grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters of urine. The test will detect any terpenes left over if you’ve used a controlled substance. It will not, however, be able to determine when these substances were used since some terpenes stay in your system longer than others.
What Happens When You Refuse a DWI Urine Test?
You are within your legal right to refuse DWI urine testing or any chemical test asked by law enforcement. However, it’s important to note you will be in violation of implied consent laws. These are a set of laws which state you’re implicitly agreeing to DWI chemical testing if you’re using Texas’s public roads and freeways. Refusing DWI chemical testing is technically a violation of these laws and will therefore result in an administrative penalty.
If you refuse urine testing, your license could be suspended for up to:
- 180 days if it’s your first refusal
- 2 years if it’s your second or subsequent refusal
Being without a car in the state of Texas can be almost impossible, but it’s usually the best choice to refuse urine testing rather than comply. If you refuse to submit, the prosecution will have little to no evidence of your intoxication. They will instead be forced to use dash cam footage, and subjective testimony from officers and eyewitnesses. So, refusing urine testing could save you from a DWI conviction due to the prosecution’s lack of evidence.
Officers may try to intimidate you and say if you refuse your license will be suspended and you’ll be booked in jail. What they’re not telling you is if you fail your urine test all of that will happen anyway. That is why most defense lawyers will tell you to not take your chances and refuse any chemical test.
Plus, you can still fight the license suspension. You will be given 15 days to file a request for an administrative license revocation hearing after your refusal. You can bring your attorney to the hearing and then challenge the suspension with evidence. Your attorney may even be able to get you a restricted license, which will give you limited driving privileges.
If you submit to urine resting and fail, then you license could be suspended up to:
- 90 days if it’s your first failed test
- 1 year if it’s your second or subsequent failed test
How Accurate Are Alcohol Urine Tests?
DWI urine testing is based in science but isn’t the most dependable method to measure BAC. The samples are very sensitive and can be contaminated easily. If lab technicians and/or healthcare workers are inadequately trained, your results could be skewed.
A more damning fact about urine testing is it can’t determine when a person has used or consumed a controlled substance. It can only detect what substances are currently in your system. Because certain substances can stay in your system for days, weeks, and sometimes months—urine testing can very easily provide inaccurate results. You could be charged with DWI for consuming a substance weeks or even months ago.
Listed below are some detection times for common controlled substances:
|Type of Drug:||Detection Time|
|Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)||One day|
|MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly||Two days|
|Moderate Marijuana Use||Five Days|
|Phencyclidine (PCP||Eight days|
|Marijuana Daily Use||10 days|
|Marijuana Chronic Use||30 days|
Urine testing can also yield false results due to human error and fault equipment including:
- Issues with sealing samples
- Storing samples improperly
- The samples were diluted
- The sample was contaminated
- The testing kit was faulty
- Results were read incorrectly
- The sample was tampered with
Texas Laws on DWI/DUI – Visit the official website of Texas Penal Code to learn more about the consequences for driving drunk. Access the site to learn more about the elements of DWI, penalties for aggravated DWI, possible enhancements, and other related information.
Administrative License Revocation Program – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn about DWI refusals and their license suspension terms. Learn the how long the suspension terms are for adult non-commercial drivers, minors and commercial drivers. Also you can find a link to request an administrative license revocation hearing with DPS.
DWI Urine Test Brownsville Attorney, TX
If you or someone you know has refused or submitted to urine testing for DWI, it’s important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like the legal team at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. Our criminal defense attorneys have defended Cameron County residents from DWI allegations for years. We can apply our knowledge, resources, and skills to your case to secure the best possible result for your case.
Call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today at 956-504-2211. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Cameron County area as well as surrounding counties including Hidalgo County and Willacy County, Texas.