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How Can I Attack the Accuracy of a Blood or Breath Test in Los Angeles?

  • September 1, 2017

    The results of blood and breath tests form a significant part of DUI cases in Los Angeles, California. You can challenge these results and use them to effectively defend your case. Here are some of the defenses you could launch using these tests.

    Mouth Alcohol Led to False Results

    You can say that the mouth alcohol led to false high blood alcohol concentration results. This defense can make or break your case, especially in charges that indicate you drove with a BAC level of 0.08 and above under VC 23152(b). The basis of this defense revolves on the fact that when you blow into a breath tester, the alcohol content in the mouth may mix with the air from the lungs and cause false BAC results. An officer will observe you continuously for 15 minutes to ensure you do not put anything that contains alcohol in your mouth. This includes including drinks, mouthwash and medicines. They also ensure you do not burp or belch in the process.

    The BAC Level Was on the Rise

    This is another area you can use to defend your DUI case. According to California laws, there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol before driving a car. The problem comes when you drive when you are already impaired. When you drink alcohol, the concentration of alcohol in your blood rises steadily until it reaches its peak level. This takes an average of 50 minutes. During this time, your BAC is on the rise. If you are arrested, your blood or breath test would give questionable results. The BAC level could have increased over the legal limit during the lengthy period of the test. The only thing that matters in this case is the BAC level at the time you were stopped, not during the test.

    The Test Kit Had Not Been Properly Calibrated

    You can question the results of the blood or breath test by demonstrating to the court that the testing kit was not properly calibrated. You can do this by subpoenaing the maintenance and records team to allow you review the kit. If the machine has been used for a long time without maintenance, then you might have a strong defense. Not to mention, there is usually a margin of error in those kits.

    The Test Results are Unreliable

    You can also question the reliability of the blood test results. You can do this by first requesting for a sample of the blood from the District Attorney’s office. Once you obtain the sample, you can send it for an independent test in a lab of your choice. If the results vary from those in the district attorney’s office, you can question the lab that did the testing.

    Diabetes or High Protein Diet Inflated Your BAC Reading

    Medical conditions like diabetes and some diets are known to cause high BAC readings. During the process of burning food for fuel, the liver produces chemicals whose components are similar to those found in alcohol. Some of these compounds may be secreted through breath. Unfortunately, the breath testing kit will not distinguish whether the reading is due to these chemicals or real alcohol. This can cause an inaccurate BAC reading on the kit, leading to an unfair DUI charge.

    The Blood Sample and Equipment Were Contaminated

    Sometimes the lab may contaminate the sample or may even test the sample inaccurately. You can request to visit the lab where the test was done and evaluate it thoroughly to determine if there is anything that may have caused contamination.

    Other Defenses

    Other defenses may include the following;

    • The police officer did not do a continuous examination for 15 minutes.
    • The police officer obtained a 0.7 percent BAC reading but decided to test again, resulting in a new reading of 0.8 percent.
    • The officer who did the test was not properly trained in accordance with the breath testing standards.

    Hire a Lawyer

    When you are charged with DUI, you need to contain a lawyer immediately to help you out. A lawyer will examine all the facts surrounding your case and come up with an effective defense strategy.

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