In many drunk driving cases, breath tests or chemical tests often appear to be the central evidence in a strong case. These tests, however, are not infallible. There are three common factors that must be addressed in all DWI cases.
1. The breath test apparatus was not properly cared for. Between uses, these delicate machines must be properly cleaned and stored. Before a new test, the machine needs to be calibrated to ensure proper, unblemished readings.
2. The officer wasn't properly trained. From operating the machinery to storing it between uses, it is critical that the law enforcement officer has a thorough understanding of the proper procedures to follow.
3. Environmental factors influenced the results. Did the suspect recently vomit? Did the suspect spill chemicals such as paint thinner on his or her clothing earlier in the day? These outside factors can dramatically impact the breath test's results. If these elements weren't discovered at the time of the test, the results might not give a clear picture of what actually happened.
Law enforcement officers have a difficult job, and we all want our roadways to be safe from negligent drivers. But, at the same time, we must hold people accountable for errors that could impact an individual's driving rights in the future.
If you were charged with DWI, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as early as possible. Having your rights clearly explained to you can influence how you proceed through your case.