Breath Test Device Maintenance and Calibration Records

  • May 26, 2017

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    If you are pulled over in Los Angeles under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, an officer will administer on-site testing. This can be done through a field sobriety test like a breathing sample. These samples are taken on a preliminary alcohol sensor or PAS.

    In the case the PAS comes up with a reading above what is legally allowed in the state of California, the officer will arrest the driver. At the station, the officer may administer a stationary breathalyzer test as another piece of valuable evidence to determine whether you are over the legal limit or not.

    If you’re suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, there is no portable test that an officer can do at the scene. Your arrest will be based on the symptoms that an officer deems to be those of a person under the influence. When you are arrested the police department or the local hospital will perform a blood test. This is due to the fact that there is no way to test for a drug in a person’s system via a breath test.

    Do You Have To Take A Breath Test?

    Those who are on probation for a DUI conviction and those who are under the age of 21 are required by law to submit to a PAS test or other breath sample when requested to by an officer. However, citizens that don’t fall into this category may refuse the PAS and breathalyzer at the station. In these instances, the officer can apply for a warrant to have the arrested individual undergo a blood test.

    California Code Of Regulations Title 17 Requirements

    The breath test devices used by law enforcement must be maintained and calibrated regularly. These maintenance records must be kept for each device the department uses. These calibration and maintenance records can be a crucial part of discrediting the results of a DUI test if errors are found.

    It’s important to note that in the DUI hearing, the records for the breath device that was used are not given freely as part of the initial discovery package. Your Los Angeles DUI lawyers will have to file a formal discovery motion or request to get the machine’s maintenance and calibration record.

    Maintenance And Calibration Records

    These records are kept for both the portable devices as well as the stationary ones. In most cases, the defense will pull these records to see if there are any indications that the test was not working properly at the time it was given to the defendant. If they can do so, they can render the breath test as unreliable.

    Proving Faulty Testing Equipment

    One of the cases for your defense in a drunk driving incident is by challenging the validity of the test results. This can be done by simply proving the machine was not working properly at the time the test was administered to you.

    When calibration takes place on one of the breath machines there is a notation in the maintenance records. Sometimes these will note that a machine was testing a higher BAC value than was actually present at the time. Even machines that have a .01 difference in the BAC reading can help your case.

    Those who were arrested for a DUI on a reading that was close to the .08 legal limit can benefit greatly from machine calibration records that share they were reading slightly too high. For example, if you were a .09 BAC reading and the records indictate the device was reading too high, you can try to convince a jury that the device was off and you were under the legal limit.

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