Breathalyzers in Virginia Beach DUI Cases

In Virginia Beach, law enforcement officers use breathalyzer instruments thatare extremely accurate. The breathalyzers are maintained by the Department Of Forensic Science which carries really strict guidelines in terms of how the breathalyzers are supposed to be maintained. It’s really rare that there are any issues with the breathalyzers in Virginia Beach. However, should any issues come up, or if you have been charged with a DUI in general, don’t hesitate to call a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer.

Common Misconceptions of Virginia Beach Breathalyzers

The misconceptions in Virginia Beach around breathalyzers generally relate to their accuracy. A lot of people think that the accuracy is not very high with the breathalyzer or that if someone has certain conditions, such as diabetes, then this is something that would cause an inaccurate reading. This is untrue. The breathalyzers in Virginia Beach are extremely accurate and they have been tested extensively to make sure that they continue to be accurate and reliable.

Calibrating a Breathalyzer

Typically the Department Of Forensic Science will provide attorneys with the machine’s history, which includes seven days before and after the particular test that the attorney is looking at. This makes it possible to see all of the tests that have been given in a pretty decent span of time. That way you can monitor the machine to see how it’s behaving before and after, and make sure that it has been working as it’s supposed to do. Also, the Department of Forensic Science provides Virginia Beach DUI attorneys with the calibration that was done on the machine and any types of errors that the machine has had.

Typically, it is required that a breathalyzer be calibrated every 90 days, which in general is something that they’re pretty good about doing. Every now and then, there will be an error with the machine and again this is something that a DUI lawyer in Virginia Beach can use to have the results not be admissible in court.

False Positives or Incorrect Results

The law enforcement officer who is administrating the breathalyzer test is supposed to monitor the defendant beforehand to make sure that they don’t burp before they take a test. If someone does burp, it can cause the machine to incorrectly calculate that person’s BAC. Sometimes they can even advise the operator to try the test again because it reads as an error.

If the machine isn’t properly maintained the way the Department of Forensic Science is requiring, then sometimes they can issue readings that are invalid. Typically, the information on the machine that hasn’t been maintained will be available and usually it’s enough evidence to keep the results from being considered in court at all.

Government Awareness of Deficiencies

The government experts are aware of the issues with breathalyzers. The reason that they keep using them is because the machines themselves are extremely accurate as long as they’re used properly. The errors don’t come from the machines not being reliable, but from people who don’t use the machines properly, which is why there are extremely strict guidelines for how the machine is supposed to be used and how often it needs to be maintained.

As long as the machines are used the way they’re supposed to and law enforcements are monitoring the defendant beforehand as they’re required to do, then the accuracy of the breathalyzers is very high and that’s why they’re continued to be used. But, should there be any issues with the reliability of a breathalyzer, a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer will be able to help you plead your case in court.

Challenging Breathalyzer Results in Virginia Beach Court

You can absolutely challenge erroneous breathalyzer results in court. A DUI attorney with experience in Virginia Beach will obtain background information on the breathalyzer machine in advance so that they can review it and make sure there hasn’t been any type of errors or slip-ups in the process.

Anything that was done incorrectly or not as required by the Department of Forensic Science’s strict guidelines can be used to argue that the evidence needs to be suppressed in court. Once the certificate of analysis has been determined to be inadmissible, then it’s really hard for the prosecutor to provide additional evidence to support the claims that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol.