Certification of Technical Supervisor

The rules for the certification of the technical supervisor breath test operator are contained in the Texas Administrative Code under Title 37, Part 1, Chapter 19 of the breath alcohol testing regulations. The rule for the certification of the technical supervisor is found at Rule §19.5 for the technical supervisor certification.

The provisions of Rule §19.5 were adopted to be effective January 12, 2015, under 40 TexReg 250.

Contact a criminal defense attorney to learn more about alcohol breath testing after a DWI arrest in Fort Worth and Tarrant County, TX. Find out more about the administrative rules and ways to fight to have the court throw out the breath test reading at trial because of any compliance issues with these rules.

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Rule §19.5 Technical Supervisor Certification

(a) The primary function of the technical supervisor is to provide the technical, administrative and supervisory expertise in safeguarding the scientific integrity of the breath alcohol testing program and to ensure the breath alcohol testing program's acceptability for evidential purposes. The technical supervisor, in matters pertaining to breath alcohol testing, is the field agent of the scientific director. Supervision by the technical supervisor in accordance with the provisions stated in these regulations shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) supervision of certified operators in performance of breath alcohol test operations, including the proper completion of forms and records, and operator's compliance with the provisions stated in these regulations;

(2) supervision of certified instrumentation and affiliated equipment;

(3) supervision of data gathered for initial certification and/or approval of individual instruments;

(4) supervision of techniques and methods, maintaining scientific integrity and upholding these regulations;

(5) selection and supervision of a site location as it applies to security and technical suitability for testing;

(6) supervision of compliance with the policy of public information and/or demonstrations of breath alcohol testing instruments and equipment;

(7) all technical, administrative and regulatory aspects of breath alcohol testing; and

(8) expert testimony by direct testimony or by affidavit concerning all aspects of breath alcohol testing.

(b) The minimum qualifications for certification as a technical supervisor are:

(1) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in chemistry, or as an alternative, a major in another scientific field with sufficient semester hours in chemistry or other qualifications as determined by the scientific director (for the purposes of these regulations, sufficient hours in chemistry shall be defined as successful completion of the equivalent of a minimum of 18 semester hours of chemistry, no more than 8 of which may be freshman level.);

(2) satisfactory completion of a course of instruction as set forth in §19.4(a)(3) of this title (relating to Operator Certification);

(3) satisfactory completion of technical supervisor training approved by the scientific director, including, but not limited to:

(A) advanced survey of current information concerning alcohol and its effects on the human body;

(B) operational principles and theories applicable to the program;

(C) instrument operations, maintenance, repair and calibration;

(D) legal aspects of breath alcohol analysis;

(E) principles of instruction;

(4) knowledge and understanding of the scientific theory and principles as to the operation of the instrument and associated equipment;

(5) prior to certification, a technical supervisor candidate must establish proof of association or pending association with an agency of laboratory actively engaged in evidential breath alcohol testing or with a course of instruction as set forth in §19.6 of this title (relating to Approval of Course of Instruction) upon receipt of certification. If the technical supervisor candidate or certified technical supervisor cannot establish such proof of association, certification will, at the discretion of the scientific director, be denied or inactivated;

(6) Conviction history:

(A) persons convicted of a felony or a Class A misdemeanor shall not be eligible to be a certified technical supervisor;

(B) persons convicted of a Class B misdemeanor within the last 10 years shall not be eligible to be a certified technical supervisor;

(C) persons receiving a driver license suspension or a denial to issue a driver license for refusal to submit to the taking of a specimen per the provisions of Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 724 or Chapter 522 within the last 5 years shall not be eligible to be a certified technical supervisor.

(c) Certification.

(1) Upon satisfactory proof to the scientific director by the applicant that the minimum qualifications set forth in subsection (b) of this section have been met, the scientific director will issue certification for a period of time designated by the scientific director unless inactivated or suspended.

(2) A certified technical supervisor is fully authorized to conduct evidential subject tests and is not required to maintain a separate certification as a breath test operator as set forth in §19.4 of this title (relating to Operator Certification).

(3) Technical supervisor certification may be voluntarily inactivated when it is no longer needed or inactivated at the discretion of the scientific director if the technical supervisor is no longer associated with an agency or laboratory actively engaged in evidential breath alcohol testing and/or with a course of instruction as set forth in §19.6 of this title (relating to Approval of Course of Instruction).

(4) Technical supervisor certification may be suspended only by the scientific director for malfeasance, incompetence, falsely or deceitfully obtaining certification, or failure to carry out the responsibilities set forth in this subchapter.

(5) A technical supervisor whose certification has been suspended may appeal such action in writing to the assistant director of the major division responsible for crime laboratory activities, Texas Department of Public Safety, who will decide whether the action of the scientific director will be affirmed or set aside. The assistant director may reinstate certification of the technical supervisor making such appeal under such conditions deemed necessary and notify the scientific director in writing.

(d) Certificate. The issuance of a certificate to the technical supervisor shall be evidence that the technical supervisor has met the requirements for certification.

(e) Renewal of current certification and recertification. In order to maintain current certification, the technical supervisor is required to renew certification prior to its expiration. The scientific director shall determine the minimum requirement for renewal of technical supervisor certification and for recertification after inactivation or suspension.


This article was last updated on Monday, April 3, 2017.