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Factors of Breathalyzers in Fredericksburg DUI Cases

Breath test machines, like the EC/IR II, must be calibrated by statute at least every six months. The Department of Forensic Science has a staff whose sole job is to make sure that the EC/IR II machines are kept in compliance and calibrated on a regular basis. An attorney can check whether the machine has been calibrated within the appropriate period of time as well as whether or not that machine was sent for service properly, gave accurate results, followed the testing guidelines, and things of that nature.

The factors of breathalyzers in Fredericksburg DUI cases can be complex to understand without the help of an experienced DUI attorney. A lawyer with experienced in impaired driving cases and breathalyzers can give you peace of mind by reviewing the local and national laws related to your case.

Regular Machine Maintainenence

Breathalyzer machines, despite their known issues, are relied upon because they are the best tests available. DUI and the collateral consequences of DUI are within the public safety concern and to say that someone cannot be convicted of DUIs due to the occasional malfunction of these machines creates a general public safety concern. That is the main reason that the ability for these machines to make findings in any DUI case has not been tossed out because there is an overwhelming public safety concern against the total reformation of the system.

For the most part, the EC/IR II machines are regularly maintained and calibrated appropriately. The evaluators and employees of the Department of Forensic Science are generally well-trained and do a good job keeping their machines in line. There are factors of breathalyzers in Fredericksburg DUI cases in which these machines may not be calibrated properly and an attorney would want to check every possible factual scenario to make sure that they are leaving no stone unturned and creating possible defenses for clients.

Challenging Breathalyzer Results in Court

It is important to consider the factors of breathalyzers the information printed on the green sheet of paper by the EC/IR II machine does not necessarily represent all the data available, only numbers created when a person blows into that device. Those numbers are typically one of two results in the factors of breathalyzers in Fredericksburg DUI cases. The machine gives a person the benefit of the doubt in that it scores the lower of the two results and then truncates rather than rounded down. Therefore, someone can have a score of 0.159 and 0.162 and it is going to reflect as 0.15.

Depending on the type of result wished to suppress or the information wished to contradict, one may be able to challenge the DUI breath results in court. The factual challenge of a DUI often includes a presentation and the necessity of an expert witness.

In Fredericksburg DUI cases involving a breathalyzer test, an expert witness is typically a forensic toxicologist or some other scientist that understands toxicology and breath testing as well as the toxicology of alcohol in the human body and can talk about how the machine specifically may have errors due to certain known or unknown reasons. That information can then be presented to the court and the court can make a finding based upon that information.

Speaking with a Lawyer

In order to understand the factors of breathalyzers in Fredericksburg DUI cases, an individual should speak with an attorney that practices driving under the influence cases regularly. This lawyer should be able to work with the Department of Forensic Science on a regular basis and can ask the DFS to send more information on how that breath test number is determined. The attorney can try to get what the true test results were, including the volume and duration of the blow, the timing of the test.

There may be more avenues for defense. They can decide by analyzing that information whether or not there are potentially more avenues for defense. For example, in a Fredericksburg DUI cases where someone has a test graded at one of the legal limits, whether it is 0.08, 0.15, or 0.20, arguing that the certainty of measurement and the scientific process allows for that person’s test to be below this threshold limit. The measurement that may affect a case is something a person would want to talk about with an experienced Fredericksburg DUI attorney.

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