Challenging The Breathalyzer (now called Intoxilyzer)
Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer
Challenging the Reliability of Breath Alcohol Test Results
In an Orange County DUI case, the prosecution will try to prove that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was at or above the statutory limit. In California that limit is .08 . The most common scientific instrument used to measure a person’s BAC is a breath test using an Intoxilyzer, frequently called a “breathalyzer,” an older instrument not frequently used now.
Is a breath test an absolutely reliable scientific method to prove that someone is over the legal limit? The simple answer is NO. Drunk driving defense attorneys have been able to effectively dispute the outcome of breath tests in court, thereby preventing a conviction. An experienced Orange County drunk driving defense lawyer is in the best position to advise you on whether the “Breathalyzer” test results may be subject to challenge in your particular case.
Breath Test Results Can Be Challenged In Many Ways
A breath test is quite simple to perform and involves measuring the amount of alcohol in a certain amount of expired air. The drawback to the breath test is that it is an “indirect” method and therefore subject to variability. Variables that can lead to questionable results include:
- body temperature at the time of the test,
- differences between normal people ,
- sufficient observation of the arrested person to assure evaporation of any alcohol in the mouth,
- skill and experience of the tester
- maintenance or quality of equipment used
- exposure of the accused to paint or gasoline fumes or dry cleaning fluids
Some courts have allowed DUI defendants to present expert testimony of the scientific inaccuracy of breath test results based on these inherent variables.
Some courts have demonstrated more willingness than others to accept challenges to blood alcohol test results. An experienced Orange County DUI attorneys know which challenges are likely to be accepted in local courts and which are not. That is why you should choose your defense lawyer very carefully. It is important to remember that even if you have blown an above-the-limit reading you may not be convicted of DUI. If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in Orange County, contact us to schedule a fee consultation. Bring the facts or your case to use and put our knowledge to work defending your rights and protecting your freedom.
Located in Orange County , California we represent clients charged with drunk driving offenses in communities throughout the surrounding area.
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