Are Breathalyzer Tests Your Best Bet for DUI?
It’s late, you’ve had a few drinks, and you get pulled over driving. The highway patrol officer presents a Breathalyzer device. Refusing and opting for a blood test is within your rights and may be in your best interests.
For various reasons, roadside breath tests are sometimes inaccurate. Among other factors, breath analyzer devices can be miscalibrated, and the police who handle them are not always certified. Although it is not well known, the police usually do not promote it, but the driver does not need to take a breath test if asked.
Of course, rejecting a person can be an automatic reason for being detained by the police and submitted to a jury in some states. Nevertheless, some drivers, including those recorded for drunk driving, may not lose any money by maintaining this right, but there are many benefits.
Let’s consider a hypothetical man named Bruce:
Bruce obtained an offense sentence for driving drunk after taking a plea bargain on recommendations of a public defender; his Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) analysis from a roadside Breathalyzer examination had signed up just over the legal limit in California of 0.08 percent.
Bruce had been prosecuted in among the stricter areas in the San Francisco Bay Area. He constantly wondered if he had been lawfully intoxicated the evening of his initial apprehension in the rear of his mind. Thus, when the highway patrolmen approached his car with his Breathalyzer system in hand, Bruce prepared this time around.
The officer requested a copy of Bruce’s California Driver License and whether or not he had been drinking. Bruce replied that he had. Previously, Bruce had eaten three Coronas and a shot of Tequila supper with colleagues.
Bruce was on his way home at the time of the stop. He knew his BAC would be close to the legal limit at 6-feet tall and 180 pounds, and he didn’t want to risk a second DUI conviction, which would mean harsher penalties, more jail time, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. This might potentially jeopardize his first conviction appeal, for which he had retained a private attorney.
The police asked Bruce to get out of the car and undergo an on-site sobriety test. Bruce refused because he heard from his San Francisco DUI lawyer that a quarter of innocent people might not pass these tests because of some physical task requirements, such as walking in a straight line from heel to toe or with arms outstretched while standing. Even for those who have not drunk, it is challenging. The officer then asked Bruce if he would take a breath test. Bruce also rejected this, remembering the inaccurate information he heard from his lawyer about the equipment.
He knew that the refusal of the on-site sobriety test was the reason for the automatic arrest, but due to the second drunk driving problem, he had nothing to lose and everything. He knew that the best way for him to go home freely that night was to go to the police station for a blood test.
The police officer detained Bruce and drove to the local Health Protection Center office. Bruce’s lawyer met with him when he arrived at the police station. On the lawyer’s advice, Bruce refused to be questioned by the police and agreed to take a blood test for his BAC. Up to now, it has been more than two hours since his last drink, and Bruce has reason to be sure that his blood content will be within the legal limit. He also knows that if the reading exceeds the legal limit, his attorney may argue that the blood bottle shows fermentation. This defense is often successfully used to counter allegations of drunk driving.
The result showed that the reading was 0.07, and Bruce could go home. Six months later, his lawyer dismissed his first conviction for driving under the influence of the police on the grounds of improper behavior by the police and deleted his arrest record from his record.
This is merely a hypothetical case. If you have been arrested or charged with driving under the influence, however, a qualified lawyer can give an experience that may result in a similar conclusion.