If you were pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, you might feel as though you are completely out of options. Whether you are asked to submit to a chemical test or field sobriety test, you will probably start calculating the dramatic impact that a DUI conviction will have on your job, bank account and ability to drive.
But are these tests as accurate as law enforcement would have you believe?
Fortunately or unfortunately - depending on your perspective - breath tests show significant variation in results and are not nearly as infallible as the criminal justice system would hope.
Inaccuracy and variation can be the result of numerous factors, such as:
- Improper cleaning after use
- Improper storage between use
- Failure to properly calibrate machine before use
- Improper or incomplete training
- Failing to recognize the impact of environmental influences
With these, and several other, factors influencing a breath test's results, it is not uncommon for an experienced criminal defense attorney to aggressively challenge these results in court. In fact, a New Jersey court cited four specific concerns regarding breath test accuracy:
- High readings for 14 percent of the population due to design flaws
- Variance in results based on the temperature of the machine itself
- Different results from the varying body temperatures of test subjects
- Variances in the presence of hemocrit in the blood also affecting test results
If you are facing DWI, DWAI or DUI charges, it is crucial that you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can carefully examine your specific situation and provide the legal guidance you need.