Both the field sobriety tests and blood and breath chemical tests can be given during a traffic stop and arrest but the chemical test is much harder to fight against in a court of law. These tests are more objective, which means it is convincing evidence to the judge presiding over the case or a jury who has to deliberate on the guilt or innocence of the accused. In order for a DUI lawyer to win his/her case, he/she must get this evidence suppressed (meaning it does not get heard and is not admissible in court). A major DUI defense strategy component is to fight the results of the Breathalyzer test.
In measuring the amount of alcohol present in a person’s breath, officers employ a wide range of tools and methods. As a result of this, the reliability of the final results is found to vary from method to method. An experienced DUI lawyer will undoubtedly be well aware of this and most likely raise this issue in a client’s defense. The accuracy of breathalyzer machine is affected by its calibration. Incorrect calibration will result in less than accurate results. Alongside the machine’s efficiency, the administering officer will also have to be qualified to use it correctly. In the event that any of these are found to not have taken place, the court may consider the results as being inadmissible in court. Emphasis on the methods used and the qualification of the handling officer are thus some of the more common methods used in disqualifying the results of a breathalyzer test.
Many DUI attorneys have also successfully argued that breathalyzer machines give incorrectly high readings as a result of certain medical conditions. Because a breathalyzer relates the amount of alcohol on the breathe with the amount in the bloodstream, it relies on a standard mathematical formula, although there are naturally-occurring biological variables that can affect this ratio.
Attorneys can also argue the "absorbtion defense" depending on when you were arrested and when the Breathalyzer exam was given. Keep in mind that it takes alcohol nearly two hours to get into your bloodstream. If the alcohol you drank hasn't reached your bloodstream, it hasn't been factored into your BAC number despite the fact that the machine detected it. This means the officer will have an incorrect reading; albeit a wrong high reading.
Taking a breath test is not required. Depending on a person’s state, it is possible for individuals to refuse to take a breath test. This will go a long way in providing them with a better chance of beating a DUI charge. However, some states will suspend the licenses of people who refuse to allow the administering of these tests.
A conviction of DUI or DWI can have serious consequences lasting for years, making it critical to fight your case in every way possible to avoid a conviction. In many DUI cases, breathalyzer results play a central role in the prosecution's arguments. Although breathalyzer results can be damaging to your case, they are not ironclad evidence, and can be challenged. It takes a skilled DUI attorney to dispute their reliability in court.
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Article Added on Sunday, March 7, 2010
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