Breathalyzer results, which are based on ancient technology, are often inadmissible.

Some people think that if they fail a chemical test, they are automatically guilty of DUI. Indeed, the conviction rate in test cases is significantly higher than the conviction rate in non-test cases. But the conviction rate in test cases is not 100%, mostly because no gadget, not even a Breathalyzer, is completely accurate all the time. Furthermore, the test results may not be admissible in court. More on these things below.

Therefore, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer basically has two chances to short-circuit unfavorable test results and obtain favorable outcomes in DUI test cases. That outcome could be a plea to a lesser-included offense, like reckless driving. This offense, which is also a misdemeanor, does not have the same collateral consequences as DUI.

Scientific Flaws

At trial, police Breathalyzer technicians often drone on and on about the modern Breathalyzer’s advanced features. But all their droning cannot hide the fact that a Breathalyzer is nothing but an updated Drunk-O-Meter, a device that was invented in the 1920s. Then, as now, a breath alcohol level measuring device has some serious flaws, such as:

Frequently, a Norcross criminal defense lawyer partners with a degreed chemist who points out these flaws to jurors. Such professionals have much more credibility with jurors than police-trained technicians.

Procedural Issues

But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Breathalyzer results, reliable or not, may be inadmissible in court.

Police officer stops must meet rigid legal requirements. Officers must have a reasonable articulable suspicion to make a traffic stop. A mere DUI hunch, like a driver leaving a bar late at night, does not hold up in court. Officers must have concrete evidence to support their hunches. DUI roadblock stops must meet certain requirements as well. For example, the checkpoint cannot be a souped-up speed trap. Instead, officers must warn approaching motorists.

Additionally, officers must have probable cause to demand chemical samples. Poor performance on the FSTs (field sobriety tests), like the DUI eye test, meets this requirement. If defendants refuse to perform these tests, the state is hard-pressed to establish probable cause.

Blood test results, which are more reliable than breath test results, are inadmissible unless the defendant consents to the test or the officers obtain search warrants.

Count on a Gwinnett County Criminal Defense Lawyer

DUI test results are often inadmissible and/or unreliable. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal law attorney in Norcross, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.