What Common Mistakes Are Detrimental To A Dui Case?
The most common mistake people make in DUI cases, is the failure to exercise the right to remain silent. Do not answer questions or make any statements. Most people immediately try to minimize their consumption, so when the officer asks if they’ve had anything to drink a lot of people think they can admit they had been drinking but will tell law enforcement less than what was actually consumed. The typical answer is “I drank two beers.”
Blood alcohol is easily tested, whether it’s through a breathalyzer or a blood draw. The science can show whether two beers is a fairly accurate statement or not. Those statements can be hurtful down the line if someone wants to fight the case. Like in any criminal case, it is advised that people exercise that right to remain silent and call an attorney immediately.
Breath And Blood Testing For Alcohol
In the state of Arizona, if you do not consent to a blood draw, police will get a search warrant if there is reasonable suspicion of a DUI. You do have the right to have an independent test of that blood as well, however. This means a person can also ask to get their own hospital or doctor to have a second test done.
If someone does fail or refuse to submit to a blood or breath test, in Arizona there is a strict consequence of an automatic year-long suspension of a person’s driver’s license. This is which is able to be appealed. However, if it’s shown that you knew that you have the option or knew that you understood that you did have a suspension and you still refuse, then the suspension will typically be upheld.
Regarding the portable breathalyzer (roadside test), there is not the same serious consequence if you refuse. It does not carry the same evidentiary value nor is it allowed to come into court at any time. A portable breath test is just a quick read for the officer to determine if they feel like there is a DUI taking place.
Once a client hires Attorney Jared Allen, he will submit the blood sample to be tested by an independent lab to see if the results are similar to the State. Most of the time, they are similar. However, there are times where they are different in the outset. This can help Attorney Jared Allen in the negotiations for your case.
Is The Roadside Breathalyzer Part of The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
Here in Arizona, some police departments will do either or both blood and breathalyzer tests. However, almost every department has now moved toward doing blood as the standard as it is more accurate and more reliable and the chain of custody is easier to keep track of. One thing with breathalyzers is that there is a maintenance routine that needs to be performed on those machines regularly. If they are not working to the best of their ability, then they can be attacked for reliability Whereas with a blood draw, as long as it was drawn in an appropriate amount of time, it’s a strong piece of evidence for the state.
How Are Chemical Tests Administered? Are They Always Accurately Performed?
The breathalyzer test is usually administered when an officer transports an individual to a location where they are set up with a breathalyzer and the ability to perform those tests in like a small mobile location. During those tests, their machine has to be calibrated and they have to confirm that the individual’s breathing appropriately into the machines to register accurate results. They make sure the person does it several times to make sure it’s being done correctly. Those machines are the easiest to attack however, because if they are not maintained and they are not calibrated before the performance of a test by an individual, then the accuracy can be highly questioned and unreliable.
When it comes to the blood test, it is much stronger evidence if the blood is drawn within two hours of the stop. It is then considered fairly reliable that it is an accurate blood alcohol level of that person at the time they were driving. When a DUI case goes to trial, Attorney Jared Allen finds that although the field sobriety tests, the officer’s memory and other evidence can be argued, the jury is always going to put a lot of emphasis on the BAC through a blood draw.
How Are BAC Levels Below The Legal Limits Handled In Arizona?
In Arizona, a person could have a blood alcohol concentration level lower than 0.08 and still be found guilty of a DUI. However, in some situations, depending on the fact pattern, the prosecution is not going to charge DUIs for under 0.08 percent BAC. Instead they may charge reckless driving or some other type of traffic offense. It really depends on what the reason the police had for pulling the individual over to begin with. It is a judgment call on the prosecutors to whether they want to handle it as a DUI or as some other type of offense.
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