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Calibration is important for breath tests

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2019 | BAC

You went out for drinks, and you felt fine. You had only three drinks over the course of an hour or two, so you felt like you’d be able to drive and get home without trouble. Of course, there’s always the risk that your blood alcohol content is too high, but since you didn’t feel buzzed, you thought it would be fine.

Around half way back to your home, you started to feel the impact of your last drink. It resulted in you swerving a little bit, but when you realized that you were potentially impaired, you pulled to the side of the road.

An officer driving by didn’t see you swerve, but they did notice you pull over. Now, they’ve come to see if anything is wrong and are suspecting you of driving drunk, even though you aren’t moving.

If you’re in the driver’s seat, there can be trouble

It is important to note that you could get a DUI even if you’re in a parked car while intoxicated. If you have the keys in the ignition and you smell of alcohol, an officer has the opportunity to ask you to take a breath test due to reasonable suspicion of intoxication. At the end of the day, it’s their job to make sure drunk drivers stay off the road, but you should still take steps to protect yourself. If an officer comes up to your parked car, you don’t have to answer questions or roll down your window more than a pinch to speak with them.

What happens if an officer gives you a breath test?

If the officer does want you to take a breath test, it’s normally a good idea to comply. If you don’t, you could face the suspension of your license automatically.

When you take the breath test, take note of the results. These will be important for your attorney, who will be looking for ways to reduce the impact of the traffic stop and related charges. Breath tests have to be calibrated, so if they are not, they can be inaccurate. Breath tests should always be well-controlled and accurate. For example, it’s normal if two tests given come back at .07% and .06%. On the other hand, it’s not normal if the tests come back at .09% and .05%. They’re just too far apart. This is something you’ll want to discuss with your attorney if you happen to be arrested during the stop.


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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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