Revealing the Flaws in Breathalyzer Testing Procedures in Court
As DUI defense attorneys know, drivers may have excellent arguments that breathalyzer testing results should be excluded from consideration in court. Flaws in administering and interpreting breath tests abound.
Which Kinds of Flaws in Breath Testing Can Be Shown in Court?
The list of potential flaws in breath testing for DUI is long:
- Incorrect directions were given to a driver who takes a breathalyzer;
- Miscalibrated breathalyzer device used;
- Broken or old breathalyzer device used;
- Maintenance procedures for the breathalyzer were not followed;
- The specific model of breathalyzer has a fatal design flaw;
- Law enforcement broke the chain of custody for the results;
- The officer who gave the breathalyzer is not present to testify; or
- And much more.
Note that this is a list of potential flaws. As more and more news stories break about flaws with breathalyzers, police departments may become better at fixing these issues before they affect prosecutions of suspected DUI drivers. You should, however, still ask your lawyer if he or she has considered any of these flaws for defending your case.
If There Was a Flaw, How Is It Used in Court?
In criminal cases, defense lawyers can present requests that the court “exclude” or “suppress” certain pieces of evidence. If the court grants such a request, then the court or the jury cannot consider this evidence in deciding whether a driver is guilty or not guilty.
If the court denies the request to suppress the evidence, then your lawyer can bring out the flaw during questioning of witnesses. For example, your lawyer could ask the law enforcement officer who took the breathalyzer test about which instructions he gave. Or your lawyer could call a representative from the state or the breathalyzer manufacturer to testify about maintenance or calibration of the devices.
Need an attorney to contest breathalyzer results in Oklahoma? Seek out the attorney who is in court nearly every day and teaches other attorneys and law enforcement about sobriety testing techniques. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.