When someone is stopped on the suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer will administer a number of chemical tests, including breath and blood tests in order to determine if the person is intoxicated or sober. A number of field sobriety tests may also be carried out and the person may have to submit to a urine test.
Arizona is an implied consent state which requires anyone who is lawfully arrested to consent to taking a chemical test. Failure to submit to the test will result in the suspension of the driver’s license and other penalties. Taking these chemical tests is important as they determine whether a driver will be charged or convicted of DUI or DWI. Read on to find out how these tests are carried out and what issues can come up in these tests.
Breath samples are tested using a breathalyzer machine, where the driver is required to blow into a hand-held machine, usually on the side of the road, or at the station. Breathalyzers determine the amount of alcohol that exists in exhaled air to determine the level of alcohol present in the blood. Any alcohol-containing substances present in the mouth at the time of the test can also result in exceptionally high reading on the breathalyzer machine. Similarly, if the person vomited, regurgitated, or burped within 20 minutes of taking the test, it may cause falsely high reading.
In other cases, the device used for breath testing may not be properly calibrated and may cause inaccurate readings. In such cases, it is important to get in touch with an experienced DUI defense attorney who knows how to challenge the accuracy of these tests and use them to plan a defense strategy.
A blood test is the most accurate test to measure the content of a drug or alcohol in the body. However, there can be problems with the reliability of blood tests which a good defense attorney may be able to use in a case. For example, if the blood sample was not properly preserved and was allowed to sit around for a long time before being analyzed, it could have coagulated or decomposed which can lead to false high reading. Moreover, since laboratories analyze different blood samples throughout the day, it can lead to errors in some samples, especially if proper procedures were not followed.
A good defense attorney knows how to cross-examine the results based on the chemistry which was used to analyze the blood, and use that to challenge the accuracy of the blood test of the defendant in court.
Reliability of Blood and Breath Tests
Most chemical analyses of the driver’s blood or breath test will give an inaccurate indication of the person’s actual blood alcohol level, also known as BAC. The unreliability of these chemical tests can be proven by a DUI defense attorney, especially when the driver knows that he or she was not guilty. An experienced attorney will be able to convince the jury that the tests were not infallible, and have the charges reduced or dismissed in most cases. Visit www.crammlawfirm.com for more information.