Some driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests occur because someone harmed other people. Police officers responding to the scene of a collision may require that the parties involved perform chemical tests to establish whether they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may arrest anyone who fails a test, even if they didn’t actually cause the crash.

Other times, police officers arrest people who swerve all over the road and otherwise drive in a clearly unsafe manner because of what seems like chemical impairment. A large percentage of the DWI cases in Texas every year stem from technical violations rather than poor driving or harm to others.

These technical DWI charges relate to per se infractions. What is a technical or per se DWI in Texas?

People violate the letter of the law

The DWI statute in Texas technically gives two specific scenarios in which the state can justify prosecuting an individual. Obviously, those who show clear signs of impairment are vulnerable to arrest and prosecution. However, those who seemingly drive like they normally would could face criminal charges in some circumstances.

Specifically, those accused of having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit are at risk of prosecution. The law makes it illegal in and of itself to exceed a set limit for someone’s BAC. The average driver who is over the age of 21 could face arrest and prosecution for having a BAC of 0.08% or higher regardless of whether they displayed impairment while driving or not.

If the person accused was in control of a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle, the BAC limit in their case would be 0.04%. Underage drivers not lawfully permitted to drink alcohol yet could get arrested for a BAC of 0.02%. The level of alcohol in someone’s bloodstream can be a crime on its own regardless of whether it causes noticeable impairment for the motorist.

Someone accused of a per se DWI offense may have several options when responding to those charges. Those who provide an explanation for unusually high test results or raise questions about the accuracy of the test could avoid a conviction in certain circumstances. Reviewing the state’s evidence with a skilled attorney may help those accused of a per se DWI plan a workable defense strategy.