Negotiating Plea Deals

Tips For Building A Solid DUI Defense

by Flenn Lane

If you've recently been charged with a DUI after taking and failing a breathalyzer, it's important that you understand the things that can directly affect those results. There are many factors that can contribute to the accuracy or inaccuracy of a breath test, and sometimes your best defense lies in understanding those vulnerabilities. If any of them could apply in your case, your DUI attorney should be made aware right away so that he or she can help you defend yourself in court. Here are a few things you should consider.

Your Body Temperature Can Affect The Result

Breathalyzers are machines, and they work like machines. That means that there is no room for consideration of any changes in the dynamic. They are programmed to test under precise conditions and deliver a result that is based on clearly defined factors. For example, they assume an average human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, not everyone's body temperature is precisely 98.6 and even for those who do consistently run the average temperature, their bodies can fluctuate based on activity levels and the situation. The higher your body temperature, the higher the concentration of alcohol in your breath. So if you are running a fever, just left a very warm environment, or were pulled over in 102-degree heat, your body temperature may have altered the result.

The Maintenance Of The Testing Equipment Is Relevant

Your attorney should petition for the maintenance records of the testing equipment used during your stop. If the machine hasn't been maintained properly, that can leave a significant margin for error in the test results. Look closely at the maintenance logs for any potentially missing information and make sure to address it in court if it's relevant.

The Time Between Your Traffic Stop And Your Test Can Alter The Result

One of the things that many people overlook when it comes to a DUI stop is the fact that your breathalyzer results can be altered simply by the amount of time you spend talking with the officer before the test. If you just left the bar after your last drink and you were pulled over right around the corner, then any delay during the stop can allow more time for alcohol to absorb into your bloodstream. While you may have blown a .07 when you were first stopped (therefore not legally over the limit), 20 minutes later you might blow a .09, which is legally over the limit.

Ask for the records of the traffic stop so that you and your attorney can assess the time that elapsed as it relates to the breath test results. You may be able to get the charges dismissed on a technicality.