Delay Between An Accident and a Breath Test In Texas

In Owen v. State, 905 S.W.2d 434 (Tex.App.--Waco 1996, pet. ref'd) a prosecution for involuntary manslaughter, the defendant challenged a breath test on the grounds that it had been administered about an hour after the accident and no testimony had linked the result to her condition at the time of the accident. Owen, 905 S.W.2d at 437-438. The reviewing court rejected this argument. It noted that in mandating the admissibility of such evidence, the Legislature implicitly accepted the fact that delay between the offense and test would be inevitable, and that it was for a properly instructed trier of fact to determine the weight to be given such evidence. Id. at 439. As with Forte, Owen involved the much higher standard of review involved in a criminal case. Id. at 435.