Breathalyzers in Virginia DUI Cases

The most common misconception about Virginia DUI breathalyzers is that they are foolproof. Their reliability may depend on who is asked. Somebody from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science will say it is reliable. But there are those who argue they are not foolproof and there are many different variables that go calculating a person’s blood alcohol content. Virginia now has the second generation or version of a breathalyzer. This means it is better than the first one, but not perfect. There are a lot of different things about the machines that cast great doubt on some of the results that they produce. If you have taken a breathalyzer or have refused one, contact a distinguished DUI lawyer to discuss your rights.

Calibration Issues

Virginia DUI breathalyzers must be calibrated every six months and they generally are. An attorney will check the records on the calibration and look for any repairs or replacements made after it was calibrated but before the client took the test. If something was replaced on that then that machine was not actually calibrated correctly because the new part or the new repair might have thrown off that calibration.

If government officials relied exclusively on blood testing, it would be a widely inefficient way to do it. Most populated jurisdictions process handfuls of DUIs a day and usually a lot more than that. A blood test is a lot more involved and takes a lot longer to analyze while breathalyzers provide a sample and results during the stop. To be fair, they get it right a lot of the time but a person really needs a lawyer who is familiar with the science behind all of it to really dig in and not just accept breath test at face value.

Requesting the Suppression of Evidence

It is a rare thing to be able to actually suppress Virginia DUI breathalyzers based on science. Science can only go so far to cast doubt as to the reliability of the test. If proper protocols are not followed and a person can establish that proper protocols are not followed, then they would lose the presumption of irregularity that ensues with the administration of the test. Generally, the suppression of a test can only cast doubt on its reliability.

Hiring an Attorney

No one should take Virginia DUI breathalyzers at face value. Individuals should question everything about DUI prosecution and lawyers who do not question everything are not providing their clients to complete defense. It is important for anyone facing a breathalyzer test to speak with a Virginia drunk driving attorney about the role BAC can play in their case and how to proceed with their defense.

A person can always ask to speak to a lawyer during a DUI stop. However, while the individual is stopped, the officer does not have to allow communication with the lawyer right away. Individuals can always tell the officer that they do not want to talk anymore without a lawyer being present. They have to honor that request by not asking anymore questions.