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In the last couple of years, the Department of Public Safety began performing breath tests with the Intoxilyzer 9000 breathalyzer machine. The state will always say that Midland DUI breathalyzers are reliable, but there are many issues which can allow us to challenge the validity of a breath test score.
If you were charged with a DUI after taking a breath test, you could still have a chance at beating these charges. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer understands the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and they could fight for a positive result in your case.
With a breath test after arrest at the station, police cannot prove what the breath alcohol concentration was at the time that the person was operating the motor vehicle, which is when the BAC is important in our case. Our statute is at or above 0.08 at the time of driving.
There are lots of other issues that may be involved. There are issues such as the 15-minute observation period. The breath test operator must be in the presence of the defendant at least 15 minutes prior to the time that the person is tested. There can be issues such as regurgitation or burping that can affect it. There are also issues such as partition ratio or a 0.02 agreement. There is a likelihood that there are some breathalyzer issues in any given case.
Common Misconceptions About Breathalyzers
Midland DUI breathalyzers are not perfect. Even if a person took a breath test which was over the legal limit, there could still be challenges to that test score. Just because someone is over the limit at the time of testing does not mean they were over the limit at the time of driving. Sometimes, it is an hour or two after the arrest before they will actually perform the breath test down at the jail. Another misconception is that giving a breath test is better than giving a blood test.
There are several scenarios that could result in false positives. A test could lack the 15-minute observation period. If someone burps, then they could have alcohol on their breath, but it is not deep lung air. That can be an issue. There also could be calibration issues, or the tests could lack 0.02 agreement.
One of the best defenses in a breath test case is called the partition ratio agreement because this whole issue of a breath test is based off an assumption that everybody has the same blood-to-breath partition ratio. According to scientific studies, however, there is a wide variation, and it can sometimes double or even triple the person’s breath test score based upon the results compared to their own breath.
Calibration of Breathalyzer Machines
Breathalyzer machines have to be calibrated. There is a whole procedure under the statute that a technical supervisor must follow. An attorney could view those records and evaluate the calibrations on each case.
The statute in Texas requires the calibration within the calendar month. Some people think that if the technical supervisor who is in charge of that unit calibrates it on June 15th, that means by July 15th, it has to be calibrated. That is not true. You could have a calibration of June 1st and July 31st and it is still within that specified time period.
Why Government Officials Rely on DUI Breathalyzers in Midland
Despite the problems with breath testing, government officials continue to rely on Midland DUI breathalyzers because they are easy and quick. The machine gives a number, and officials can testify that the number is valid and means a defendant was intoxicated.
A Midland DUI Attorney Could Challenge Your Breathalyzer Results
Many people believe that failing to pass Midland DUI breathalyzers means they will be found guilty. However, a Midland DUI lawyer could absolutely challenge a breath test result. If you are facing DUI charges, do not give up. With a qualified DUI lawyer by your side, you could still have a good chance in court.