In Derby and throughout the state of Connecticut, there are many ways that a law enforcement agent may try to confirm if a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. One of the most common methods of DUI detection is the breath test. Breath testing has long been used in Connecticut and throughout the United States, but is it an accurate method for determining levels of intoxication? Learn more on this page.
Common Issues With Breath Tests
While the police or prosecutors may indicate that breath tests are accurate because they operate on a scientific basis, there can be many issues with the standard breath tests conducted in DUI cases. In Derby, the breathalyzer is the device commonly used in such situations. First, let’s consider issues with the machines themselves. Breathalyzer machines should be calibrated and recalibrated on a regular basis. Failure to do this could skew the results significantly. If breathalyzer machines are not maintained properly, their results may not be accurate, and therefore could be inadmissible in court.
Next, let’s consider the possibility for user error. A police officer needs to follow proper procedure when administering a breath test. The person administering the test must be certified to do so and they must ensure that the driver’s airway is clean before administering the test. Much as with maintenance and calibration issues, failure to properly administer the test could make the results inaccurate and therefore obsolete.
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Also consider the interpretation of the test results. Errors could occur when analyzing the test results, once again leading to inaccurate testing and results.
Finally, keep in mind that several factors that have nothing to do with alcohol consumption could skew the test results. These factors might include smoking or vomiting before the test is administered, the use of certain medications, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, fluctuations in body temperature, etc.
As you can see, so many things can go wrong with the breath test, making the results inaccurate and unreliable evidence against a driver accused of DUI.
The state of Connecticut has an implied consent law. This law interprets residents’ ability to drive a privilege, not a right. Under implied consent law, by driving on Connecticut roadways, the driver gives implied consent to submit to a breath test when asked to by the police. Failure to submit to such a test is a violation of the implied consent law and means that the DMV can take away the driver’s privilege to drive.
Simply failing to submit a breath test when asked will result in a driver’s license suspension – even if you are never charged with or convicted of driving under the influence. This is something to keep in mind if you are stopped by the police and asked to submit a breath test.
In order to avoid the automatic license suspension due to implied consent, it may be in your best interest to perform the test. As you can see, there can be many issues with breath tests. Even if you fail the test, our team can investigate all of the factors surrounding your breath tests and potential explanations for a failed test that have nothing to do with alcohol use. In some cases, we may be able to have the evidence of the breath test result thrown out of court.
In many cases, it may be a good idea to avoid the driver’s license suspension by taking the test and dealing with the results later. However, for more information about specific circumstances, it is best to talk to a Derby DUI defense lawyer. Contact us for more information or to get started on your DUI defense.