Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to challenge a breathalyzer test in South Carolina? We’ve all heard the horror stories of innocent people being charged with DUI because they blew over the legal limit on a breathalyzer test.
But what if there were ways to challenge these tests and potentially avoid conviction? In this article, an experienced Orangeburg DUI lawyer will explain how a breathalyzer device works and what the potential ways of challenging the results are.
How Does a Breathalyzer Device Work?
Breathalyzer devices are commonly used by law enforcement to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) through their breath. But how exactly do these devices work?
When you exhale into the device, it measures the amount of alcohol in your breath and converts that into an estimated BAC level. This is based on the fact that when you consume alcohol, it enters your bloodstream and eventually makes its way to your lungs.
The breathalyzer uses a chemical reaction between the ethanol in your breath and a substance inside the device to produce an electric current. The strength of this current indicates the amount of alcohol present in your system.
It’s important to note that while breathalyzers are often accurate, they’re not infallible. There are several factors that can affect their accuracy, which your Orangeburg DUI lawyer will use to challenge your test result.
Before we explain them, a word of warning:
South Carolina Has an Implied Consent Law – Refusing the Test Can Get You in Legal Trouble
In South Carolina, if a police officer suspects that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can ask you to take a breathalyzer test. This is because South Carolina has an implied consent law, which means that by obtaining a driver’s license in the state, you have already given your consent to submit to chemical tests if suspected of DUI.
Refusing to take the breathalyzer test can result in legal trouble for drivers. Under South Carolina law, refusing the test could lead to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months and up to two years depending on prior offenses.
It is important to note that even if you refuse the breathalyzer test and are not ultimately convicted of DUI, you may still face penalties such as fines and loss of driving privileges due to violating implied consent laws.
Now, the best solution for you is to take the test and let an experienced Orangeburg DUI lawyer get your charges dismissed, if you believe you got a false positive result. Here are some valid ways of challenging your breathalyzer test:
The Device May Be Poorly Calibrated
Breathalyzer devices are designed to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) in a person’s breath. However, these devices rely on various factors to produce accurate results, such as proper calibration and maintenance. Unfortunately, not all breathalyzers are calibrated correctly, which can lead to false positive or false negative readings.
In South Carolina, law enforcement agencies must follow strict guidelines when it comes to testing and maintaining their breathalyzer equipment. For instance, they must calibrate each device at least once every 30 days or after every 150 tests, whichever comes first. They also need to keep records of the calibration process and make them available upon request.
However, despite these regulations, some officers may cut corners or overlook certain issues with their breathalyzer devices. For example, a device that is poorly calibrated may produce higher BAC readings than actual due to an incorrect ratio between the sample air and the reference solution.
The Officer May Not Be Properly Trained to Administer the Test
Breathalyzer tests require specific knowledge and skill to administer correctly. If the officer who administered your test was not properly trained, this can affect the validity of the results.
For example, if the officer did not follow proper procedures for calibrating or maintaining the device, this can lead to inaccurate readings. Similarly, if the officer did not observe you for at least 20 minutes before administering the test, this can allow residual alcohol in your mouth to skew the results.
An experienced Orangeburg DUI lawyer may be able to uncover any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and challenge the admissibility of any flawed evidence against you based on lack of proper training or certification by law enforcement agencies concerned with equipment maintenance standards compliance requirements among others.
Certain Medications and Foods Give a False Positive Result
Did you know that some medications and foods can result in a false positive reading? For example, mouthwashes or breath fresheners containing alcohol can leave traces in your mouth and lead to an inaccurate result.
Similarly, if you’ve recently consumed food or drinks that contain alcohol, such as beer-battered fish or rum cake, it could artificially inflate your blood alcohol content (BAC) level on the test. Additionally, some prescription drugs like cough syrup or anti-anxiety medication may also interfere with the results by giving off high levels of acetone.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid taking prescribed medication altogether. It’s crucial to discuss any possible side effects with your doctor beforehand and inform law enforcement officers about any legal medication taken before administering the test.
Ultimately, challenging a breathalyzer test based on certain medications and foods requires expert knowledge from experienced DUI lawyers who understand South Carolina laws. They have dealt with similar cases before and know how to identify flaws in evidence presented against their clients.
Specific Medical Conditions Give a False Positive Result
It’s important to note that specific medical conditions can also lead to a false positive result on a breathalyzer test. For example, some individuals with diabetes may have high levels of acetone in their breath, which can be falsely identified as alcohol by the device.
Similarly, those who suffer from acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may also have elevated levels of mouth alcohol due to regurgitation, leading to inaccurate readings on the breathalyzer device.
Some people suffer from a rare condition called gut fermentation syndrome (or auto-brewery syndrome). It means that the gut bacteria produce ethanol from various foods and drinks – especially those rich in sugar and carbohydrates.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Orangeburg DUI Lawyer!
If you have been charged with a DUI in South Carolina after taking a breathalyzer test, it is important to know that there may be ways to challenge the results. From device calibration issues to medication or medical conditions that can give false positives, there are many factors at play.
To ensure you have the best chance of successfully challenging your breathalyzer results and fighting your DUI charge, it is crucial to discuss your case with an experienced Orangeburg DUI lawyer. We can help assess your situation and determine the most effective defense strategy for your unique circumstances.
Remember, just because you failed a breathalyzer test does not mean you should automatically accept guilt or plead guilty. With the right legal team on your side, there may be options available to fight back against the charges and protect your rights. Don’t wait – contact an Orangeburg DUI lawyer today and start building a strong defense for your case: 803-353-1969!