Suppressing the Motor Vehicle Stop and Challenging the Breath Test (Intoxilyzer 8000)
Challenging and beating your breath test reading is crucial to the success of your case. You need to trust that your attorney has the skills and education to get the job done. DUI defense attorney Jay M. Arnesen is a trained police officer and former public defender with years of experience to his credit. There are several aspects of a DUI stop and arrest that need to be closely examined. These include:
- The Stop:Did the officer have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you? Did you violate any laws while operating your vehicle? Did the officer have probable cause to order you out of the vehicle to perform standardized field sobriety tests? What clues suggested that you were impaired? Did the officer smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from your breath? Were your eyes watery and bloodshot? Was your speech slurred? After completing the roadside investigation, did the officer have probable cause to arrest you for DUI? If not, the officer may not have had probable cause to stop and arrest you, which could result in your case being dismissed. Evidence will be suppressed if the officer did not have legal cause to (a) stop, (b) detain, and (c) arrest. DUI checkpoints present particularly complex issues.
- Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST): There are three field sobriety tests that officers should use when determining if someone is impaired. They are: the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the one-legged stand and the walk-and-turn. If any one aspect of these tests is administered improperly, the results are flawed and are not acceptable. Proving that the field sobriety tests were flawed could result in the drunk driving charges being dismissed against you. Did the officer properly administer and interpret the SFST’s in your case? DUI defense attorney Jay M. Arnesen has in-depth training on how to properly administer and interpret standardized field sobriety tests and he may be able to help you.
- Breath Tests/Intoxilizer 8000: When giving a breath test, police officers must follow proper procedures and administer the test properly to ensure that the test results are scientifically reliable. In order to have a valid breath sample, the breath testing officer is required to watch you continuously for 20 minutes to make sure you didn’t bech, hiccup or burp up any alcohol from your stomach cavity which would cause an increased or spiked B.A.C. reading. It is also imperative that the Intoxilizer 8000 breath testing machine is properly maintained and has up-to-date certificates. Did the breath test operator or officer improperly increase the breath test reading (Blood Alcohol Content B.A.C.) by having the you blow too much volume through the machine.ie. Keep blowing until I tell you to stop? Our firm has successfully challenged improperly administered breath tests and blood tests, which resulted in the dismissal of the charges against our clients.
- Blood/Urine cases: In all blood/urine cases, your lawyer must challenge chain of custody of all persons who touched or took possession of your blood sample. If the State can’t prove chain of custody, the evidence will be thrown out. Additionally, your lawyer must make sure the blood sample wasn’t tainted when by the nurse or technician cleaned your skin prior to drawing blood. Next, your lawyer must review all of the State’s laboratory certificates to make sure the machines used to analyze your blood were in proper working order. Finally, your lawyer must review the curriculum vitae (resume) of the State’s scientist to make sure they had the proper training and experience to analyze your blood.
- Other Sobriety Tests: There are several other standardized field sobriety tests that are scientifically unreliable even though they are still commonly used by police. These tests include, saying the alphabet, counting numbers backwards, finger-to-nose, closing your eyes with head tilted back and many others. If you were arrested for DUI and asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests, call criminal attorney Jay M. Arnesen now for a free case analysis.
- Miranda: Incriminating statements may be suppressed if the police failed to read you your rights. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at no cost. Do you understand these rights?
- Implied Consent: If the officer failed to properly advise you of the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test, or gave it incorrectly, this may invalidate a DHSMV license suspension based upon a refusal to provide a breath/blood sample. Were the warnings given to you by the police deficient or defective? Did the officer coerce or fool you into taking the breath test by misadvising you of the “Implied Consent” law or its consequences?
- Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.): There are many problems with blood, breath or urine testing. Take for instance “Non-specific” analysis. The Intoxilizer 8000 will register many chemical compounds found in human breath as alcohol. Additionally, the Intoxilizer 8000 assumes a 2100-to-1 ratio in converting alcohol in breath into alcohol in the blood; when in fact, this ratio varies widely from person to person (and within a person from one moment to another). This is a great defense that is both technical and necessary.
- Mouth Alcohol, Invisilign, Dentures: Medical conditions could have caused an inflated breath test reading (higher Blood Alcohol Content) because of mouth alcohol contamination. Dentures, Invisilign, braces, caps, retainers or dental work that traps small amounts of alcohol in the mouth cavity can cause a spike in your breath test reading. Additionally, Gerd or acid reflux could cause alcohol to come up through your esophagus and artificially inflate your breath test reading.
- Women Over the Age of 65: Woman over the age of 65 may not have the lung capacity to give a proper breath sample.
- Radio Frequency Interference: Electronic radio frequency interference caused by a radio, cell phone or computer devices in the breath testing room can result in inaccurate readings. These and other defects in analysis can be brought out in cross-examination, through discovery or pretrial motions.
- Other Medical Problems: Fever which can dramatically cause an artificial increase in the breath test reading. Lung problems such as bronchitis and Asthma can also cause problem with your ability to give a sufficient breath sample. Additionally, fasting or dieting may cause you to appear dizzy or drowsy and unable to balance properly.
- Back, Leg, Ankle, Knee Injuries: Other medical problems can lead an officer to believe your inability to balance or perform the standardized field sobriety tests are due to alcohol consumption when in fact, they are due to prior orthopedic injuries to your back, leg, ankle or knee.