Challenging a Dedham OUI Breath Test

Before challenging a Dedham OUI breath test, it is important to know that there are two types of breath tests are used in Dedham. The portable breath test is used on the side of the road. While it is not used in every case; some police departments do have a portable breath test. 

As a skilled OUI lawyer knows, the results from the portable breath test are inadmissible in court, so the results are not used against the person at trial. The other breath test is the formal breath test at the police station. The results from the formal breath test may be used at trial to establish the person’s blood alcohol content.

How is a Breath Test Administered?

When the breath test is administered at the booking station in Dedham, the police officer follows several steps. Upon arrival at the police station, the booking officer advises the person of their right to agree to take the breath test and the right to refuse the breath test.

If a person decides to take the breath test, the officer is required to perform a 15-minute observation period prior to the person taking the breath test. This observation period is important because it ensures that the person does not introduce any contaminants into their breath. To make sure that that breath test is accurate, the officer should properly comply with the 15-minute observation period. After the observation period, the person submits two breath tests.

Likelihood of Challenging a Dedham OUI Breath Test as a Defense

There are cases that are brought in Massachusetts that are between 0.05 and 0.08. The defense would certainly want to bring in that evidence showing that blood test or that breath test result under the legal limit. If there is something that can show an error with that machine, the defense would bring in that evidence as well.

What Can Impact the Results of an OUI Breath Test?

The breath test machine assumes certain variables such as breath temperature. So, if there is evidence that a person has a different temperature, then that can certainly show that the result is inaccurate for that specific person.

The machine in and of itself is unable to ascertain what type of alcohol is present. If a person recently drank cough syrup, that could certainly affect a breath test result, and that should be used by an OUI attorney in showing that the breath test result is false. A lot of rather innocuous things, like an inhaler or cough syrup, could artificially increase the result.

How Health Issues Can Alter Test Results

Diabetes can affect the breath test result. If somebody has a high blood sugar, that could artificially inflate the breath test. GERD, as well as any gastrointestinal types of disorders that are causing acid reflux, could result in the alcohol coming back up the esophagus. 

This could artificially impact the breath test by detecting alcohol coming back up from the system rather than the amount that is in the blood that comes out of the breath.

 People who have asthma are unable to produce the breath volume and sometimes the machine detects alcohol that is actually contained in the mucus that a person with asthma has in the back of their throat instead of actual lung breath that would determine a true blood alcohol result.

Breath Test Device Requirements

There are a few requirements the machine must meet. It must be properly calibrated and annually certified. Any officer that operates the machine must be properly trained.

The officers are required to monitor the 15-minute observation period and ensure that the person gives an adequate sample. They should make sure that the machine is certified and calibrated and the machine outputs an appropriate number.

How to Administer the Test

The person is asked to blow into the machine that collects their breath sample for a specific period of time through a scientific process and calculates the person’s blood alcohol level. And A calibration test is done and then the machine does another breath test for comparative effect. Dedham court accepts the lowest of the two numbers.

Challenging a Breath Test in an OUI Case

The roadside breath test is not admissible at trial, so there is no opportunity to contest the roadside breath. Under Massachusetts law, the roadside breath test is not presumed to be scientifically valid.

When someone considers challenging a Dedham OUI breath test, they should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The attorney obtains a copy of the breath test and the booking video to verify that the officer complied with the 15-minute observation period. 

An attorney may review the breath test documents to make sure the test was administered properly and confirm that the machine is properly calibrated and certified.

Important Information When Building an OUI Defense

A person should provide their attorney with any sort of information about ongoing medical conditions including asthma, GERD, or diabetes, and they should discuss with their defense attorney exactly what happened in the breath test and whether there is anything that they thought was unusual about the process or that they felt was unusual within their own body, or if they were experiencing any sort of illness at that time.

Client Reviews
Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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