Defective Breath-Testing Device as DUI/DWI Defense

- Lotze Mosley

A Nebraska prosecutor recently revealed that a faulty breath-testing device used in more than 180 DUI and DWI cases may have produced tainted evidence against the individual defendants. These devices are ordinarily used to measure the blood alcohol content of arrested defendants and must be calibrated regularly to ensure accurate readings. 

A recent request for the device’s calibration records revealed that the breath-testing device had not been calibrated from August 2012 to July 2015. Considering that minute inaccuracies in percentages of blood alcohol composition could spell the crucial difference between a conviction and dismissal of charges, many attorneys are expected to raise the appropriate motions in their clients’ DUI/DWI defense.

Problems with Breath-Testing Devices and Other Tests

A similar situation involving faulty breath-testing devices have affected DUI arrests in Washington, D.C. Just recently, District police have stopped using designated breath-testing devices due to calibration issues. This is not the first time that the District has suspended use of breath-testing device. In 2011, about 400 DUI defendants were reportedly arrested on inaccurate test results. The District had to settle 20 civil cases filed by drivers who were charged using the faulty results.

Blood tests are not often used in DUI cases because they take time to complete. Urine laboratory tests as well are not reliable for measuring blood alcohol content because they measure alcohol that may have been consumed hours earlier and may no longer be circulating in the defendant’s blood stream.

If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance, it’s important to call your criminal defense attorney immediately. Don’t enter a plea of guilty without talking to an attorney. 

If you are an immigrant, a guilty plea even for a DUI charge may be used against you in deportation proceedings. Insist on your right to an attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you are entitled to strong DUI/DWI defenses.

In Washington, D.C. and Maryland, the criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP have more than 25 years of combined DUI/DWI defense experience. We have access to experts who can identify defects and errors in testing devices and laboratory results. We are also prepared to help you in DMV infraction hearings.

Call our offices for help in your DUI charge today at (202) 393-0535.