breath test

Five Factors That Affect Breath Test

Breath Test DUI Attorney

RJ Ferraro has defended against DUI convictions since 2001

The breath test is the most common way police officers make a determination that a driver has had more to drink than is legally allowed before operating a vehicle. Once an officer observes a driving pattern that is indicative of drunk driving, the car can be pulled over the drive questioned. If the questioning leads the officer to believe the driver has had too much to drink, he or she can ask the driver to submit to a breath test. When the breath test results show an alcohol concentration in the driver’s system of 0.08% or more, a ticket and arrest for DUI can be written. This type of scenario makes it critical for every driver on Florida roadways to know a few things about how breath tests work, and what types of things can have an impact on the test result.

Five factors that affect breath tests in DUI cases are:

  • The calibration of the machine. This is not a factor that is under the control of the driver, but is still a factor just the same. If the machine is not properly calibrated, it will not give off an accurate result.
  • Personal physiological traits such as the driver’s metabolism and mouth temperature. These are things that are still not within your control, but are unique to you specifically. It is important to identify and work through any special circumstances related to you personally. Sometimes medical evidence is needed to support a claim of this type.
  • Whether you blew into the machine in short breaths, or one long breath. Believe it or not, this does make a difference in how the result is computed.
  • What you have eaten just prior to the test.
  • Whether you suffer from certain medical conditions that can “fool the machine.”

An experienced DUI defense attorney knows where to look for factors that help bolster your defense, and can point these things out to the prosecution. Keep in mind though that just because these are possible parts to your defense, not all will apply in every case. We take the time to review your case as it applies only to you, and develop a defense that is tailored to your needs.

For answers to questions about breath tests, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you today. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Four Common Challenges To Breath Test Results That Can Work For You

Unless you have a background in science you might be intimidated when trying to challenge the result of a scientific test. The methodology used and the scientific terms are often times difficult for the layperson to understand, let alone question. So if you have been charged with DUI after having “failed” a breath test, you might be thinking that there is little hope for a good defense. But the truth is breath tests are not as reliable as an arresting officer might have you believe, and successful challenges to the test results can be made in a large majority of cases.

Four common challenges to breath tests in DUI cases that just might work for your case include:

  • Challenging the maintenance of the equipment. The equipment used to test the level of alcohol in your system has to be maintained a certain way. You have the right to ask if that happened, and if it did not, the result could be considered unreliable.
  • Question whether the test result picked up the existence of any other substance that may give off the same type of reading as alcohol. There are some over the counter medications, and even some prescription medications, that can cause a false positive. If you had any of these in your system at the time of the test, the result could be wrong.
  • Attack the way the test was given. Were you asked to blow in short spurts, or one long breath? There is a difference and it is important to look at this part of the testing procedure when determining if the results are valid.
  • Were you made aware of your right to refuse the test? Florida has an implied consent law, which basically means that by driving on the roads your consent to submit to the test is implied. But in truth you can refuse, and should be told this is one of your rights.

An experienced DUI defense attorney will look at all of these possible challenges, and any others that your case warrants. If you have been charged with DUI, call us for help. We have helped others fight these scary charges, and look forward to helping you too.

For answers to questions about DUI cases, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

Three Possible Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test

Most DUI cases are filed after the police pull you over and have you submit to a breath test. The law implies that a breath test is the State’s right, because you have taken advantage of the laws that allow you to drive, so the State should be able to give you a breath test if an officer of the law believes one is appropriate. But taking a breath test after you have had too much to drink will almost surely show that your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, so it is natural to wonder if you have choices. While you do have the right to refuse to take a breath test, knowing the possible outcome of doing so is good information.

Three possible consequences of refusing to take a breath test when pulled over for DUI include:

  • Loss of your driver’s license for up to an entire year.
  • The fact you refused the test can be used as evidence against you in the criminal portion of your DUI case in Court.
  • Loss of your driver’s license for a year and ½ if you have refused a breath test in the past.

No two cases are the same, and it is important to review every fact of your case when coming up with a defense that fits. Even if you submitted to the breath test, you do have a defense to the charges. Not all tests are given properly, and if that happened to you, you might be able to successfully claim the test results should not be admitted in Court. Or, you may have evidence of another reason for the test result, like a prescription or other legal substance in your system. So, if you decided to take the breath test because the possible consequences seemed too harsh, do not think that means you do not have a defense. Our team of DUI defense attorneys has seen it all, and can go over your case with you to identify which facts will help your defense and let you know what you can expect. If you have been charged with DUI, whether you agreed to take the breath test or exercised your right to refuse, call our office to find out what to do next.

For more information about DUI defense, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We work with you to tailor a defense that fits the specific facts of your case. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to helping you.

Watch Out For These Three Things If You Refuse A Breath Test

The large majority of DUI cases are filed as a result of a traffic stop that lead to a breath test, with the test result showing that the driver was over the legal limit. In Florida, the legal limit for the amount of alcohol in your system is 0.08%. This means that if the concentration of alcohol I your body is over that amount, you can be arrested and charged with DUI. When you get behind the wheel of a car, the law presupposes that you consent to being tested if you are pulled over. This is referred to as implied consent, and the reasoning being the rule is that by taking advantage of the state’s roadways, you agree to a test if pulled over on suspicion of DUI. But the truth is you can refuse the test. It is just that doing so can have some serious consequences.

While Florida law does assume you will consent to a breath test, you can refuse. If you do refuse, watch out for these three things in your case:

  • If you are a first time offender you can lose your license for up to one year if you initially refuse the breath test, only to be subjected to other forms of testing and found to have a BAC over the legal limit.
  • For a second time offender, the potential loss of license is eight months.
  • Third time offenders also lose their right to drive for eighteen months.

These are the rules that are in place if you refuse the breath test, but are later convicted with other proof of DUI. This sounds pretty harsh, but it does not mean your case is impossible to defend if you have refused the test. However, refusal does mean certain defenses are no longer available to you. For instance, if you did not take the test you cannot claim that it was not properly administered. We understand the confusion that comes with being arrested for DUI, and that in the heat of the moment it can be hard to make a decision about what is best for you. So, if you are charged with DUI, whether you submitted to a breath test or refused, call us for help. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys know how to defend all kinds of DUI cases and can help you develop a defense that fits the facts of your case.

For answers to questions about refusing a breath test, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you today. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

Three Things To Know About Breath Tests

In order to be arrested for DUI the police have to have evidence the driver was driving while intoxicated. The most popular way to “prove” intoxication is to administer a breath test. The breath test measures the level of alcohol in your bloodstream, and reports it as a percentage. If the percentage is over what the law allows you can be given a ticket for DUI. In Florida, the legal limit is 0.08%. It might seem like having a scientific test that shows your BAC was more than 0.08% is foolproof evidence of your guilt, but you might be shocked at how often the results are unreliable. The key is to investigate the test itself and the procedures under which it was administered, to identify any flaws.

Three things to know about breath tests, and how the results impact a DUI case, include these factors:

  • Every test has to be given properly, by following a set of rules and procedures. If the officer administering the test is not qualified to do so, or does not follow the rules, the results should not be used against you.
  • There are other substances besides alcohol that can give off a reading showing the driver is “drunk”. Some prescription medicine, and even some over the counter remedies contain things that have some of the same properties as alcohol. It is not unheard of for these substances to interfere with the test and cause the result to be skewed.
  • The machine used has to be properly maintained, again according to certain rules. If the maintenance is not done correctly, or has not been performed at all, the machine could malfunction. When the equipment used to test a driver’s BAC is not working as it should, the test result should not be relied upon as evidence of a person’s blood alcohol content.

It is always a good idea to attack the validity of a breath test result, but it has to be done properly. We have experience investigating DUI’s, from the initial stop to the breath test and beyond. If you have been stopped and arrested for DUI, let one of our DUI defense attorneys take a look at your case. We focus on the facts of your specific case rather than giving cookie cutter advice, and can help you fight these damaging charges as well as help you maintain your right to drive.

If you have been arrested for DUI, call our office for help. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

Four Factors That Impact Breath Tests

Not everyone is a good test taker. This concept does not only apply to written tests, given while seated at a desk in a schoolhouse. There are plenty of other types of tests, and the way you perform can have a dramatic impact on how you are viewed at work, within your circle of friends, or even in a Court of law. You may not know it, but many employers look at things other than your actual job performance when making decisions on promotions and raises. Articles on professional sites such as LinkedIn suggest that things like your choice of tie or where to have lunch have subliminal effects on whether you are considered for more responsibility or those jobs go to a co-worker. This sort of “test” is one that you are being subjected to without a pen or pencil in hand, and there are others.

The breath test, given when a driver is suspected of DUI is another good example of a test that isn’t really something you can prepare for by hitting the books. What you can do though is know how certain things affect a breath test, so you are prepared to put forth the best defense you can if you are charged with DUI. Four factors to watch for are:

  • Other substances: if you have other substances in your system, those can alter the test results. This is true of both legal and illegal substances, so make sure to reveal everything to your attorney when you are talking about how to best defend the case against you.
  • Being scared or nervous: these conditions can increase your adrenaline flow, and cause you to make a mistake while taking the breath test.
  • Your weight: this isn’t a diet tip; it’s a statement about how your weight can play a role in your blood alcohol content. Lighter weight people will become “drunk” faster than those that weigh more, and this can skew the test results.
  • Your sex: females tend to reach a BAC over the legal limit faster than males.

You should also watch out for things like whether the testing equipment was working properly, whether the test was given by a person authorized and trained to do so, and whether there had been proper maintenance on the machine. The news is full of stories about improper testing procedures, and it is worth the time to question the way your test was given to be sure there were no errors. For more information, call us today.

For help with defending DUI charges, call our office to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. We help people charged with all sorts of crimes in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Three Ways To Flunk A Breath Test

We have all taken tests before, mostly in school and when you are at least somewhat prepared. The way you perform on these tests depends on how much effort you put into studying and how well you can recall what you have read. Another test nearly everyone takes is their drivers test and passing this one is a big deal. There are not many sixteen year olds out there who don’t look forward to this test with anticipation, and a little anxiety. To prepare for your driver’s test you may have taken a driver’s education course and begged your parents to let you practice driving their car. Being able to drive is a freedom like no other, but it can be taken away if you are not careful.

One of the fastest ways to lose your right to drive is to be charged with DUI. This is because with every DUI the driver’s license is suspended. There are steps you can take to regain your right to drive, and you should take quick action if you have been arrested for DUI. But before focusing on what to do about your license, it is good to know how the breath test that is used to determine if you are over the legal limit works, and three common ways the breath test is “flunked”:

  • Failing to challenge the way the test was administered can cause you to be stuck with the test results, even when those results may not be accurate. The administration of the test has to be by a trained and qualified official, and if the person who gave you your breath test lacks the proper credentials the results should be attacked as unreliable.
  • Failing to ask whether the testing equipment has been properly maintained will also result in having to defend the case with the results at the initial traffic stop. But if you can show the machine was not working properly, then you can likely persuade a prosecutor that the results are not valid.
  • Failing to identify other substances that may have caused or at least contributed to the result is also one way to “flunk” the test. If you have other, legal substances in your system (like a prescription) it is possible the result is wrong.

The key is to pinpoint which facts will best help your defense, and then present those facts to the Court. For more help, call our office today. One of our skilled DUI defense will be able to help you.

For answers to questions about DUI defense, call an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

The Three Consequences Of Refusing A Breath Test

Being charged with DUI means that you have been pulled over, asked to take a field sobriety and breath test, and that the test result showed the level of alcohol in your system was over the legal limit. The breath test is the most common way for police to determine if a driver is legally defined as “driving while impaired” and most people are under the impression they don’t have a choice when asked to submit to a breath test. This is because the law provides that by taking advantage of use of the state’s roadways you automatically consent to this type of test. The legal term is “implied consent” and it is gives rise to a lot of complex legal questions.

Florida law defines driving under the influence as driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more. As discussed, this is determined by a breath or blood test. If you refuse to take the breath test when pulled over, you face these possible three consequences:

  • For a first offense you can lose your driver’s license for a period of one year.
  • For a second offense the loss of driving privileges is eighteen months.
  • For a third offense you also lose your right to drive for eighteen months.

If you refuse the test and are convicted of DUI the above loss of license rules are in place. But this does not mean that you do not have the chance to defend your case. This is because when you refuse the test you must have a defense that shows you were not driving while intoxicated. On the other hand if you do agree to the test you can defend your case by claiming the test was not given properly. This particular defense is not available if the test was refused, and you also cannot challenge the maintenance of the testing equipment or claim that the officer was not properly trained to administer the test. So while it might seem like refusing the breath test is a good idea, you do give up valuable defense strategies when you make that refusal. If you have been arrested for DUI call our office. We can help whatever your particular facts and whether you submitted to the breath test or exercised your right of refusal. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys know how to defend DUI cases with all sorts of fact patterns and can help you find a defense that works for you.

 

For more information about DUI cases, call our office today. Contact us today schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. The first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

Three Things To Expect If You Refuse A Breath Test

If you have been out drinking and get pulled over on your way home you might be wondering if you have to submit to a breath test. The answer is complex because technically you can refuse to take a breath test, but there are consequences. The most typical scenario is one where an officer pulls over a driver and the driver agrees to take a breath test. This is because Florida is an implied consent state, which means that by taking advantage of the roadways you have impliedly consented to the test if asked.

If a driver being stopped for possible DUI refuses to take a breath test, that refusal can later be used against the driver if another form of test reveals a BAC over the legal limit. Other test forms include a blood test, which is likely to happen if you don’t take a breath test in the field. When breath tests are refused the driver is taken to the police station and a blood test can be given. In addition to using the refusal as evidence against you, lawmakers are considering these three things as added punishment for refusal:

  • Higher fines, up to $1,000.00.
  • A mandatory probationary period of 6 months.
  • Four points added to the driver’s record.

Enhanced punishment is currently a possibility, but if those proposing changes to the law for refusing to take a breath test get their way these enhancements would become the norm. As it currently stands Judges have the power to impose lenient sentences but if changes are made to the law that would no longer be the case. If you have been charged with DUI, you need to act fast. Whether you took the breath test or refused you still have only 10 days after arrest to challenge the loss of your license. The quicker you take action the more likely you are to be able to gather helpful evidence. Call us today to find out what you need to do first, and what steps are necessary throughout your case. We have experience helping others defend not only the DUI charge but also their right to drive, and we can help you too.

Allow an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to help you. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.

 

The Top Three Ways To Challenge A Breath Test

“Failing” a breath test is a sure fire way to get arrest for DUI. This type of test is the most commonly used method by police officers when making a traffic stop for suspected DUI. If a driver takes the breath test and the results show a BAC over the legal limit, the authorities are likely to make an arrest for DUI. A lot of people mistakenly believe these results are rock solid and cannot be successfully challenged. However, many DUI cases are favorably resolved by exposing a flaw in the test, which in turn leads to a finding that the results are unreliable. What all of this means for drivers charged with DUI is that they can and should challenge the test results

The top three ways to challenge a breath test if you have been charged with a DUI are:

  • Identify if there are any other reasons or factors that contributed to or caused the result to show you were over the legal limit. This might include taking a prescription, the existence of a rare medical condition, or whether the testing procedure was properly followed.
  • Examine the maintenance records for the testing equipment to make sure the equipment was working properly. If the machine has missed scheduled maintenance or has not been properly kept, it can malfunction. When the testing equipment does not work as it is supposed to, the test result should not be relied upon for a finding that your BAC was more than what is allowed by law.
  • Look to see if the officer that gave you the test was trained to do so, if not the test result can be considered tainted. Only officers trained on the equipment should be administering the test.

There are other factors that may come into play in your case besides those listed above, and it takes a thorough examination of your case to identify those factors. Our team of qualified DUI defense attorneys knows where to look and what to look for when developing an effective defense. Call us today to find out more.

 

For more information about how to defend a DUI, call an experienced defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer an initial consultation for no charge, and look forward to working with you.

 

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