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DWI Urine Test

Law enforcement utilizes various chemical tests to determine your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). You may think of solely breathalyzers when it comes to DWI. However, police officers will also use urine analysis to determine your BAC. Especially if they believe you’re driving under the influence of drugs.

Urine testing does give more reliable readings than a breathalyzer, but it’s not flawless. Urine analysis can give false results under certain circumstances. If medical procedures aren’t followed to a T, then the sample could be contaminated. In addition, urine testing itself isn’t completely trustworthy. You could test positive for substances you consumed days or even weeks ago.

If you’ve undergone urine testing for DWI, it’s imperative you contact an experienced attorney.

DWI Attorney for Urine Tests in Houston, Texas

Law enforcement uses urine analysis to establish BAC. However, the process isn’t always perfect. Human error or outdated equipment could lead to skewed results which are hard to contest. If you’ve been subject to urine testing for DWI, then it’s crucial for you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Do what’s best for you and contact an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc.. The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. have years of experience handling DWI cases in Texas. We provide efficient and effective defenses for people struggling with criminal charges. Call (713) 224-5529 today to schedule a free consultation.

Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County region including Houston, Bellaire, Pasadena, West University Place and Tomball.

Overview of DWI Urine Analysis in Texas


How Does Urine Analysis Measure BAC?

Texas uses blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) to determine a person’s impairment level. Blood-alcohol concentration is measured through various chemical tests including urine analysis. If an officer asks for a urine sample, it’s likely you’ll be relocated to the police station or the nearest medical facility. You will then give your sample to a lab technician for testing.

Urine analysis measures the number of grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters or urine. It’s typically more reliable than breath analysis, but less accurate than a blood draw. However, there are some issues with urine analysis.

A urine sample can be easily diluted or contaminated if the test isn’t administered correctly. In addition, urine testing gathers data on all substances in your system. This means you could be tested positive for something you took days ago. For example, if you smoked marijuana weeks ago it could still show up on your urine test.


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What Happens if You Refuse a Urine Test in Texas?

Texas has a set of laws which address chemical testing called implied consent laws. The laws state you’re implicitly agreeing to chemical testing if you’re using Texas public roads. It’s important to remember that field sobriety testing isn’t included in implied consent laws. A refusal could lead to an administrative penalty, which means a license suspension.

If you refuse urine testing, your license could be suspended for up to:

  • 180 days for a first-time refusal; and
  • 2 years for a second or subsequent refusal

It’s definitely a burden to be without a car in Texas, but it’s usually the best choice to refuse urine testing. Refusing to submit will mean the prosecution won’t have any scientific evidence of your intoxication. They will be forced to rely on objective evidence to convict you. So, a refusal will make the District Attorney’s job much more difficult during trial.

The officer may intimidate you by saying if you refuse testing your license will be suspended and you’re going to jail. What they’re not telling you is if you fail that will happen to you anyway. The majority of attorneys would advise you to not take your chances and just refuse.

If you submit to urine testing and fail, then you license could be suspended up to:

  • 90 days for the first offense; and
  • 1 year for a second or subsequent offense

You can contest your license suspension through an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing. It’s important you act quickly because you only have 15 days to file a request an ALR hearing. Once the deadline has passed you’ll be prohibited from requesting a hearing.


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Problems with Urine Testing in Texas

Urinalysis has proven to not be the most dependable method to measure BAC. Samples are very delicate and can be contaminated easily. Urinalysis readings can also detect substances you’ve consumed in the past. This means substances you consumed days or weeks ago could show up on your results.

Listed below are some detection times for common controlled substances:

Type of Drug: Detection Time
Cocaine One day
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) One day
MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly Two days
Ketamine Two days
Codeine Three Days
Amphetamine Three Days
Hydrocodone Three Days
Fentanyl Three Days
Methamphetamine Three Days
Oxycodone Three Days
Morphine Three Days
Flunitrazepam Five Days
Moderate Marijuana Use Five Days
Methadone Seven Days
Phencyclidine (PCP Eight days
Diazepam 10 days
Marijuana Daily Use 10 days
Marijuana Chronic Use 30 days

Human errors or faulty equipment can also lead to false positives such as:

  • Improper storage;
  • Using expired testing kits;
  • Contaminated testing samples;
  • Faulty testing kits;
  • Diluted sampled;
  • Results interpreted incorrectly;
  • Sample tampering; or
  • Problems with sealing samples

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Criminal Penalties for DWI in Texas

The criminal penalties for DWI depend on your criminal history and the circumstances of the crime. It’s important you understand the full scope of DWI penalties before going to trial. A DWI conviction could lead to expensive fines, DWI school, annual fees by DPS and incarceration.

  • First Offense – Class B Misdemeanor
    • A fine of up to $2,000
    • Up to 180 days in jail;
    • Up to 100 hours of community service;
    • Driver license suspension for up to 12 months; and
    • Completion of a 12-hour DWI Education Program;
    • Annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years by the Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Second Offense – Class A Misdemeanor
    • A fine of up $4,000;
    • Up to 12 months in jail;
    • Up to 200 hours of community service;
    • Completion of a DWI Education Program;
    • Driver license suspension for up to two years; and
    • Annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years by DPS
  • Third or Subsequent Offense – Third-Degree Felony
    • A fine of up to $10,000
    • Up to 10 years in prison;
    • Up to 200 hours of community service;
    • Driver license suspension for up to two years; and
    • Annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years by DPS.

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Additional Resources

Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website of Texas Penal Code to learn more about driving while intoxicated (DWI). Access the site to learn more about DWI charge specifics, enhancements and the associated penalties of DWI.

Administrative License Revocation Program – Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn more about DWI license suspension. Learn the suspension terms for non-commercial drivers, minors and commercial drivers. You can find a link to file a request for an administrative license revocation hearing.


Lawyer for DWI Urine Test in Harris County, Texas

If you or someone you know has refused or submitted DWI testing, it’s important you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can contest the results with a strong defense. They can also challenge your license suspension at an administrative license revocation hearing.

Contact Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. now for quality legal representation. Our attorneys have years of experience defending people accused of DWI. Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. doesn’t only understand chemical testing procedures but have been awarded for it. Our managing attorney, Tyler Flood, is an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist. This means he has an in-depth knowledge of DWI and chemical testing.

Contact us now at (713) 224-5529 to schedule a free consultation. We accept clients throughout the greater Houston area including Bellaire, West University Place and Pasadena.


This article was last updated on March 11th, 2019.

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