If you are pulled over by a West Palm Beach police officer on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, the police officer will likely ask if you consent to a Breathalyzer test. Unfortunately, state law practically compels Floridians to consent since refusing to submit to the Breathalyzer test will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license – regardless of whether you were intoxicated or not. Florida police use a machine called the Intoxilyzer 8000.
This machine evaluates your breath sample to determine the level of alcohol deep within your lungs. You may be asking, “If I blew above a 0.08, am I automatically guilty of a DUI?” The answer is no.
Challenging the Breathalyzer Test Results
Breathalyzer tests are definitely not scientifically reliable. Improper maintenance and/or operator error can result in an inaccurate or high BAC readings. This means that a result above a 0.08 BAC does not mean you are automatically guilty of a DUI.
There are numerous ways to challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test or blood test. For example, the test must be administered by a certified operator. If the officer who administered your test is not certified, or their certification lapsed, then that Breathalyzer test result can be challenged as invalid.
Another issue is whether the Intoxilyzer was properly calibrated and maintained. Many police officers fail to follow the stated regulations and protocols when it comes to calibrating and maintaining the machine. This can result in false readings.
Along with needing a certified operator and a machine that is properly calibrated and maintained, another major issue is whether you have a physical condition that may actually lead to a false reading. For example, cough syrup contains alcohol and can interfere with
Breathalyzer test results. Other chemicals like acetaldehyde and acetone can also be read as alcohol by the Intoxilyzer 8000. Furthermore, if you have a medical condition such as GERD or acid reflux, you have the propensity of blowing above a 0.08, even if you have not had a single drink.
Analyzing the Basis of Your Stop – Unlawful Stops and Resulting DUI Charges
Even before analyzing the Breathalyzer test results, your West Palm Beach DUI defense lawyer should thoroughly examine why the police officer, or officers, stopped you. This is critical because a Florida police officer must have sufficient probable cause to pull over a motor vehicle. Typically, an officer will claim that they saw you operate your vehicle in a manner exhibiting signs of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, if the evidence does not support that contention, you can make a motion to have the charges thrown out on the basis of an unlawful and unconstitutional stop. Even if you momentarily swerved or were driving a few miles above the speed limit, it does not mean you were intoxicated. When police officers pull a vehicle over, there must be some evidence that you are intoxicated. This could entail you slurring your speech, having red eyes, police noticing an alcoholic beverage in the cup holder, etc. If you were not exhibiting any signs of intoxication, you could challenge whether the officer had probable cause to even administer a Breathalyzer test.
Contact an Experienced West Palm Beach DUI Defense Lawyer Today
Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter that can have a major impact on your life. That is why you need an experienced, aggressive West Palm Beach DUI defense attorney on your side fighting for your rights. The Skier Law Firm, P.A. is here to help.