Challenging Breathalyzer Results in Savannah
Our DUI Attorneys Can Fight Your Breath Test Results
If you have been arrested for DUI after failing a chemical test, it is important that you enlist the help of an experienced lawyer immediately thereafter. In doing so, you will have the chance to challenge the validity of the evidence that is being held against you.
You can argue that Breathalyzer results may be inaccurate if:
- The officer was not qualified to administer the test
- The machine had malfunctioned
- The machine was not properly calibrated
The same principles would apply when examining the validity of a blood test. Your attorney could even move to have the evidence thrown out if the "chain of custody" was not properly documented—which means who had possession of the blood sample, for how long, etc. Each of these factors is crucial to the success of the prosecution's argument, so you should not hesitate to take a closer look at the evidence involved in your case.
Call The Schneider Law Firm at (912) 385-0854 to schedule a consultation today.
Accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000
Since 1995, the only approved breath testing device in the state of Georgia was the Intoxilyzer 5000, which is manufactured by CMI, Inc. Because the technology used in the Georgia Model Intoxilyzer 5000 could not meet the future requirements for Georgia's breath testing program, Georgia law enforcement made the gradual transition from the Georgia Model Intoxilyzer 5000 to the Georgia Model Intoxilyzer 9000 in 2015. According to the GBI Crime Laboratory, there are significant reasons why the Intoxilyzer 5000 needs to be replaced, some of which include the fact that some of its original components are no longer produced by the manufacturer.
Additionally, the design of the Georgia Model Intoxilyzer 5000 no longer meets the evolving need for digital information from the legal community, which significantly limits the device's capabilities. Breathalyzers do not directly measure BAC, which would require analyzing a blood sample. Instead, breathalyzers estimate BAC indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol in someone's breath. While these devices are useful to law enforcement, they are prone to error and can produce false readings, particularly when they are not adjusted properly or when they have not been recalibrated for extended periods of time.
Another major problem is non-specificity. This means that the machine fails to distinguish between ethyl alcohol and ethanol found in alcoholic beverages and other substances with a similar molecular structure, such as cough syrup or mouth wash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that even some natural volatile interfering compounds can result in false readings. For example, dieters and diabetics produce high levels of acetone; acetone is one of many substances that can be falsely identified as ethyl alcohol by some of the breath testing devices on the market.
Probable Cause in Traffic Stops
Another way in which you can successfully challenge BAC test results is to prove that the test shouldn't have been administered in the first place. Since the Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures, law enforcement must always have a legitimate reason to make a traffic stop.
While they would have the right to conduct a DUI investigation even if they had stopped you for an unrelated reason, a law enforcement officer cannot stop drivers at random in the hope that they are intoxicated.
An officer could, however, pull you over if:
- You ran a red light
- Your registration was not current
- Your taillight was not functioning
Get the Information You Need. Call (912) 385-0854.
Discuss every facet of your case with a Savannah DUI lawyer from The Schneider Law Firm as soon as you have been placed under arrest. In doing so, you can ensure that your rights have not been violated and that all BAC results will be thoroughly examined and/or challenged when necessary.
To find out how our firm can help, just give us a call at (912) 385-0854.