A preliminary alcohol screening device is a portable device used by California law enforcement officials to test the blood alcohol content of a driver they believe has been driving under the influence (DUI). Preliminary alcohol screening devices are also known as breathalyzers and the most common device used in the State of California is the Alco Sensor IV manufactured by Intoximeters Inc.
Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations governs alcohol breath tests and law enforcement officials are required to comply with these regulations when conducting all breath tests. This includes proper calibration of the machine and steps for conducting the test appropriately. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a false BAC reading, false arrests, and innocent men and women being charged with DUI.
Preliminary Alcohol Screening in California
When an officer suspects a motorist of DUI, the officer can stop the vehicle and perform a breath alcohol test. If a driver blows a BAC of 0.08%, then he or she can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Unfortunately, breathalyzers are not as accurate as many would lead you to believe and require precise maintenance and calibration in order to yield correct numbers. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations requires that the breath testing instrument be calibrated every 10 days or 150 uses. In addition, when the test is performed, it is important that the motorist does not eat, drink, smoke, or vomit. The breath sample must also come from deep lung air and the motorist must be observed for 15 minutes prior to blowing into the device. If the officer does not comply with these requirements, then the DUI charges and the BAC content may be challenged.
Challenging DUI Charges
An experienced and veteran San Mateo DUI defense attorney can challenge DUI charges for a variety of reasons, including Title 17 violations. If the officer who performed the preliminary alcohol screening test did not perform the test appropriately, i.e., an incorrect manual trap of your breath sample, then your attorney may be able to have the roadside breath test results against you thrown out.
Also, it is important for you to know as the motorist that you are not required to submit to a roadside breath test before your arrest. In fact, the officer must read you an admonition advising you that you do not have to submit to the breath test. If the officer does not read you this admonition, this fact may be used by lawyer as a way of successfully plea bargaining your case for a reduced charge. Often times, the officer will just tell the motorist to blow into the device. However, in the officer’s police report, the officer will note that the admonition was given to the driver. If your lawyer can obtain a copy of the patrol car video and prove that the officer didn’t provide the admonition, the officer’s credibility can called into question. This may lead to a significantly better outcome than if your lawyer failed to properly investigate this issue.
Moreover, due to budget cuts and understaffing of the police departments, it is commonplace for the roadside breath test to not be properly maintained and calibrated. We can get the breath tests records and establish in court that the breath test device was not maintained in compliance with Title 17. If we can make this showing, then the PAS results may not even be admissible against you in a court of law. These issues are just a few of the challenges that the experienced Redwood City DUI defense lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram can raise to challenge your roadside breath test results.
San Mateo DUI Defense Lawyers
At Ahmed & Sukaram, our San Mateo DUI defense lawyers have the skills and knowledge necessary to defend your DUI case in the State of California. If you are charged with DUI in the State of California, contact the dynamic legal team of Ahmed & Sukaram immediately. We are ready to fight to protect your rights, safeguard you job, and secure your freedom-no matter how serious the DUI charges are against you. You are not alone-call Ahmed & Sukaram today at 1-877-337-0697 or email us through this site in order to set up a no obligation consultation. If you prefer to video chat, please connect with us using Skype at Nafiz.Ahmed59.