A breathalyzer machine is used by the various law enforcement agencies that conduct DUI investigations. When a person is stopped by the police, the law enforcement agency is probably the Metropolitan Police Department or US Park Police.
There are different brands of breathalyzer machines, including the Intoxilyzer which is used during DC DUI breath test administration. If you want to know more about breath test and how the way they are administered could impact your case, reach out to a skilled DUI lawyer that could answer your questions.
In each breath testing machine, various mechanisms are used to test for the presence of alcohol in a person’s breath. An analysis of the person’s the breath is done to analyze in terms of a spectrograph, the levels of the different substances. A sensor inside the machine is designed to detect the components of alcohol and those results are placed on a graph.
The machine that administers the breath test analyzes the breath. When it operates correctly and is calibrated correctly, it provides a reading that shows by a certain standard what portion of alcohol is in the person’s breath.
Before DC DUI breath test administration, the machine needs to be periodically analyzed and calibrated for accuracy. The procedures required to administer the testing must be followed. The 20-minute waiting period and the amount of time in between blows into the machine must be followed.
There are many procedures that law enforcement must follow when administering breath tests in the District and nationwide. There must be a 20-minute waiting period before the DC DUI breath test administration. During the 20 minutes, the person taking the test must be observed by a law enforcement officer to make sure they do not burp or belch. If that happens, any alcohol that is in the person’s stomach goes into their mouth.
The result is mouth alcohol that douses the breath machine in alcohol and gives an inaccurate reading showing that the person has a higher breath alcohol content than they really do. Once the 20-minute waiting period is over, a person can be given the test. They must blow with the sufficient volume of air to get a valid reading on the machine. On most machines, there must be at least two blows, at least three minutes apart.
Roadside breath tests are very different from Intoxilyzer tests. A roadside breath test is a portable breath test that is not admissible in court. Sometimes, it is used by police officers to get a reading on a person’s blood alcohol or breath alcohol level, but it has no weight in court, it is not deemed reliable. There is really no need to challenge that in court because the roadside breath test results never get there.
If you are interested in challenging the results of a breath test, the first thing that you must do is consult an attorney. The attorney could identify the facts as laid out in your case and could get discovery that includes the video of the DC DUI breath test administration. Once the attorney has that, they can determine the defense strategies depending on the evidence and investigation in the case. Work with a lawyer that could advocate for you.
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