No matter where you may be driving in the United States, anyone over the age of 21 with a standard driver’s license can be charged with driving under the influence if their blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. A police officer that has pulled someone over for suspected drunk driving can use a few different methods to determine BAC, including field sobriety tests, breath tests, and blood tests. The results of these tests will generally be what determines the charges leveled against the driver.
BLOOD OR BREATH TESTS CAN BE INACCURATE
Just because an officer may have given a driver a test to determine their blood alcohol content and it showed that they were over the legal limit does not mean that they do not have any hope. A DUI defense attorney will be able to determine if any there were any discrepancies or inaccuracies in your test results.
PROVING BREATH TESTS WRONG
Using a breath test to determine BAC is one of the most popular ways that law enforcement agencies determine if a driver is under the influence. This test is not a perfect representation of a person’s BAC, and can be challenged in a court of law.
A breath test may be inaccurate if:
- The volume of exhaled breath caused an inaccurate result
- The outside air temperature was extremely hot or cold
- The testing machine was not properly calibrated
- Other substances interfered with the results, such as cough syrup or mouthwash
- The officer only tested one breath sample
CHALLENGING A BLOOD TEST
Some think that just because blood was drawn and shows they were over the legal limit that they will be automatically convicted. However, these tests can be contested in court! From the actual process of drawing blood, to storing blood, and then testing the sample, there are many places where the specimen may be compromised.
Some of the ways a blood test can be proved wrong include:
- The professional taking the blood did not correctly do so and affected the integrity of the sample
- Improper blood storage led to fermentation of the blood in the vial
- The blood sample was in the possession of someone that did not have authorization
- Blood testing device cannot determine what the BAC level was when the driver was behind the wheel
- The reports from the lab did not include a margin of error
The circumstances leading to a person being pulled over for driving under the influence vary greatly, and there may be a variety of factors that led to someone receiving a higher BAC reading than they would have otherwise. Working with a skilled DUI defense attorney can help tell if there are any ways that the blood or breath test was not accurate, thereby invalidating a DUI charge.