Breathalyzer Tests in Florida DUI Cases
You are required to take a breath, blood or urine test if a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence. Although breathalyzers are usually accurate when the device is maintained properly and the test is appropriately administered, they are not infallible. There are a number of technical procedures that must be followed for Breathalyzer and other chemical test results to stand up in court. An experienced West Palm Beach DUI defense lawyer can look into whether all procedures were appropriately followed.
It is common for a prosecutor to treat your Breathalyzer test results as if they ensure that you will be convicted. However, this is not always true. You may be tempted to simply plead guilty just to avoid the embarrassment and discomfort associated with a DUI. As a former state prosecutor, I am very familiar with the procedural requirements associated with Breathalyzer tests and the kinds of mistakes that make Breathalyzer test results inadmissible. I can challenge any evidence that fails to meet the appropriate legal standards, which may result in a reduction or dismissal of your DUI charges. If necessary, I can defend your case at trial and work to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury as to whether you were actually driving under the influence.
How Does a Breathalyzer Work?
To take a Breathalyzer test, you will be asked to blow into a device. The device calculates your blood alcohol content (BAC) and delivers a number. If you are an adult and your BAC is over the legal limit of .08%, the police will arrest you and process a DUI charge. Sometimes the breath test is only a preliminary test, and you will be asked to submit to a subsequent blood test at the police station. This blood test is believed to be more accurate than a Breathalyzer test. However, at least one study has shown that the BAC reading obtained from a Breathalyzer can vary 5 percent from a driver’s actual BAC.
There are a number of possible errors that can taint Breathalyzer results. For example, a law enforcement officer must be licensed to administer the Breathalyzer test. If the operator of the Breathalyzer doesn’t carry a license or has an expired license, your lawyer may file a motion to have the results deemed inadmissible by the court. Another possible error can occur when a licensed officer fails to calibrate the Breathalyzer or maintain the device. These failures may lead to inaccurate readings. Medications, diabetes, or dieting also can skew test results and lead to an inaccurate reading. The court also may rule a Breathalyzer result inadmissible if you were pulled over wrongfully, or if the police report was otherwise inaccurate.
Contact a Palm Beach Gardens DUI Defense Lawyer
An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can investigate the facts of your particular case to decide if there is a way to challenge your Breathalyzer test results. I use my 30 years of experience, including five years of prosecuting DUIs, to build the best defense possible. This may mean challenging the Breathalyzer results on technical grounds or finding other constitutional and procedural errors to get your case dismissed or the charges reduced. You can schedule a free initial consultation at my office in Palm Beach Gardens, near I-95 and PGA Boulevard, or my office in West Palm Beach. Call 561-533-1221 or contact me through my online form. I accept credit cards.