Driving while under the influence of alcohol can be a risky proposition, to say the least. Not only can it create dangerous conditions for you and your passengers, but it could also be bad for others that are sharing the road with you. In fact, after just a few drinks, your chances of being involved in a car accident substantially increases. In addition to the bodily and property harm that an intoxicated driver can cause, it also increases the likelihood of being pulled over by the police.
In the event that you’re pulled over and the officer suspects that you have been drinking, you may be asked to take a breath test. While it is within your rights to deny a breath test in most states, it can lead to insidious consequences. It is typically in your best interest to comply. If you find yourself being asked to take a breath test, it is important to know what they do and what will be expected of you during the process. Though the results of your breath test may indicate that you are above the legal driving blood alcohol concentration (BAC), this evidence is not as ironclad as you may think. (More Information Here) Learn more about breath tests and what you need to know about them below.
What Happens During a Breath Test?
In states like Florida, a breath test begins with a minimum 20-minute observation of the driver before the test begins. As the test is administered, the police officer will request that you blow into a breathalyzer device (typically an “8000 Series Intoxilyer”). As you begin to blow, the device will use infrared light to measure the volume of air blown into the machine while calculating your BAC. If it shows that you are above the legal limit, the officer will likely place you under arrest and charge you with a DUI. To some, it may seem more plausible to refuse the breath test and wait until the alcohol concentration in their body naturally decreases. However, this does not usually work out well. Those that refuse may have their license immediately suspended and be forced to take a blood draw (which is much harder to defend against in court).
Is a Breath Test Enough Evidence to Convict?
Actually, no. A breath test is not enough evidence to convict. Albeit, it can be especially damaging evidence for the defendant who is not adequately represented by an adept attorney. Listed below are a few potential defenses against a positive breath test.
- Officer improperly operating the device
- Tests that do not agree and have wide variations
- Illegal stop of a motorist
- Breath test results inconsistent with observations made by the officer
- Defective device or improper calibration
The Benefits of Working With an Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it can be scary. Your freedom, finances, career, etc. are all at stake. DUI convictions are aggressively prosecuted across the nation. Stiff consequences help to deter further instances of driving while under the influence while helping to keep the general public safe. However, recent surveys have shown that more than 4 million Americans admit to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Essentially, many people make mistakes. Working with a proven and knowledgeable DUI attorney can help to give you a second chance by increasing the likelihood of decreased charges, dropped charges, lessened penalties, etc. Since attorneys typically offer a free consultation, you will have nothing to lose by contacting one and discussing your case.