The Law Offices of William Margolin

How Can You Defend The Client Against The Breath Test Results?


I cannot answer the question of how to defend clients against breath test results. As a defense attorney, I look at the procedure to ensure that the officer complied with all of the requirements before having the person blow into the machine. I will ensure that he conducted a 20-minute observation period and that he logged the appropriate information into the logbook. I will also look at whether or not the officer had the necessary certifications to administer the test at the time the test took place. Additionally, I will make sure that the machine complies with the requirements, and that it was certified at the time that the person blew into the machine.

In terms of what I can attack regarding the machine itself, I can’t answer that question because I don’t know. Let’s assume everything was carried out in compliance with the procedures and requirements, but you still want to attack the test results of the machine itself. In that case, you will need to hire an expert who knows the mechanical and technical workings of the machine itself. That expert can gain access to those records, and under some circumstances, they can attack the validity of the breath test result.

If, for whatever reason, we feel that a result is just not right or I’m in a situation where I need to fight a case regardless, then I will need to hire an expert to examine the machine itself. That expert might also be an expert in physiology so that they can determine blood alcohol absorption rates in the human body. If you compare blood alcohol absorption rates in the human body to what the registered reading was, and if the result just doesn’t make sense based on what the person said they had to drink over a certain period of time, then it might be concluded that there was something wrong with the machine.

How Does It Affect The Observation Process If Someone Vomits During Those 20 Minutes?

Officers are supposed to have constant observation of the individual for a 20-minute period of time. However, when I’m looking at videos of them in the police station, I often see that the officers have their heads down while they’re writing up tickets or reports. They’re not just sitting there staring in the person’s eyes for 20 minutes. It’s supposed to be constant observation, but I’ve never seen an officer just gaze into the eyes of the defendant for 20 minutes to make sure there is absolutely no belching, burping, or foreign object in the person’s mouth. From a court’s perspective, it’s sufficient that there’s nothing outwardly evident during that 20-minute period. Some of these videos have very good audio and video quality and allow you to clearly see the defendant’s mouth. It doesn’t mean that the person didn’t belch without opening up their mouth, but you can tell on some of the videos whether or not the person was doing something during this period of time.

For more information on Defense Against Breath Test Results, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (847) 623-2424 today.

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