Mistakes Made in DUI Testing

How a Breathalyzer Test and Blood Work for DUI Can Be Wrong

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, it is important for an experienced attorney to be at your side if DUI testing results are flawed. There are several tests that are routinely performed to prove that law enforcement was correct in their assessment of your status at the time of the arrest. While the tests are respected by most authorities, there are flaws that can lead to mistaken arrest and prosecution. You have the right to investigate the results and prove that the case against you may be faulty. Learn more about the flaws in the Breathalyzer and blood tests that are used.

Travis Law Firm in Erie, Pennsylvania

The Travis Law Firm’s track record is without blemish as we strive to protect our clients from mistaken arrest. Faulty arrest happens in all types of crimes, including DUI. Once a client is taken into custody, it is our job to ensure that their rights are protected. Call us at (814) 277-2022 to set up a free case review. If you are unable to reach out to us, have a friend or family member do it for you. We can come to you if you are unable to come to our Erie office.

First Steps

There are several tests that are used at the roadside after a driver is pulled over. These are tests of concentration and agility for the most part. For some, the tests are subjective and variable, and more concrete evidence is needed. The next two tests are obtaining a blood alcohol concentration and determining the alcohol level in the blood.

Breathalyzer Test in DUI Testing

This unit measures the concentration of alcohol in the lungs when the driver exhales. Some problems with this measurement are as follows:

  • The design of the Breathalyzer can lead to faulty results. The results are often reported as higher in non-intoxicated individuals.
  • Test results can be affected by the person’s number (concentration) of red blood cells. This is called a hematocrit, and the number is often falsely elevated. Smokers have a higher hematocrit than non-smokers. 
  • Temperature can affect the DUI testing result seen with a Breathalyzer. A higher temperature can cause the unit to malfunction and give a poor reading. 
  • Substances with alcohol in them such as mouthwash can provide a faulty result. 

Calibration of a Breathalyzer in DUI Testing

To be admitted as evidence in a DUI, a Breathalyzer must be calibrated. If this is not done properly, the results may be seen as inadmissible. A DUI attorney can check the officer’s log to see if this was done. Some other factors for admissibility are:

  • Was the Breathalyzer approved for roadside testing?
  • The police officer must show that he or she was certified to administer the test.
  • Was it shown the driver did not eat before the test, regurgitate or burp or smoke?
  • Were two tests done, and did they show a deviation of 0.02 percent. 

Since there are flaws in Breathalyzer evidence, an attorney can argue that the results are not acceptable and must be stricken from the record. Examining DUI testing modalities is a good way to do this. 

DUI Testing Blood Tests

These tests are usually done at the police station or at the hospital if the individual needs medical evaluation and treatment. All blood tests should be done by someone who is trained to do them. When they are done, the person being tested must be identified by two forms of identification, which is placed on the requisition form. It is important to ensure that the tube being used has not passed the expiration date. 

The blood must be thoroughly mixed with a preservative in the tube. This is done to prevent fermentation, which would artificially elevate the alcohol concentration. All samples are stored at 39 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Travis Law Firm

Let the Travis Law Firm help you if you have been falsely arrested for DUI. We will investigate to ensure that no mistakes were made. We’ve helped many clients who were arrested on this charge. Call us at (874) 277-2022 as soon as possible so we can protect you during this journey,