If you've found yourself accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, you should speak to a criminal law attorney right away. Being convicted of this charge can mean jail time, a loss of driving privileges, expensive fines and fees, and more. Part of your defense when it comes to having your charges dropped or reduced lies in the tests that were performed. Just appearing drunk to the law enforcement officer is not sufficient evidence. To help you understand what these test results might mean, read on.
This test is often administered during the roadside stop and is a quick way for officers to determine your alcohol consumption. The breathalyzer device is meant to measure the amount of alcohol that has been metabolized and exhaled by the subject. There can, however, be numerous issues with the administration, the evaluation of the results, and the calibration of the machine itself. If you've been breathalyzed and disagree with the results, it might be because the test results can be skewed by the following:
- Mouthwash and breath fresheners
- Over-the-counter toothache medication
- Acid reflux disease
- Belching, burping or hiccuping right before the test
While still in use in some places, the results of this type of test have been challenged too often for most law enforcement and the state attorney's office to make a case based on the results. Some issues that have caused it to fall from favor include:
1. Problems with administering it
2. Problems with the proper storage and transportation of the sample that maintains its integrity
3. Problems with the testing of the sample
The tests above are relatively non-invasive, but testing of the subject's blood crosses into a different realm. Drawing blood is a medical procedure, and there continues to be a lot of controversy about the need for a warrant when doing so. Controversy aside, however, there is undoubtedly no challenge about the efficacy of results when this manner of alcohol testing is performed. If you cannot challenge the right of law enforcement to obtain the blood, then you may have a problem proving your innocence.
Regardless of the accuracy of the blood test results, no test or procedure is totally infallible, and there are numerous issues that might arise out of a roadside stop, field sobriety testing and alcohol testing. Speak to your attorney, obtain the details of any testing performed, ask to see the video footage, and have your attorney examine every loose end possible in an effort to free you of charges. For more information, contact a local DWI lawyer.