Dedham OUI Breathalyzers
Dedham OUI breathalyzers are used by local law enforcement to gauge a driver’s level of impairment. The results of a breathalyzer carry serious weight in court and could make or break a person’s case. A common misconception about breathalyzers is that they are all reliable. Pending litigation shows that might not be the case. Another misconception is that the person is required to take the breathalyzer. Individuals are allowed to refuse breathalyzer tests at any time. If you are someone who has been accused of an OUI, speak with a knowledgeable OUI lawyer that could answer any questions you may have about breathalyzers. An experienced OUI attorney could help you challenge the results of your breathalyzer test.Reliability of Breathalyzers
For years, breathalyzer results were routinely accepted by the court until a statewide appeal in 2015 when defense attorneys across Massachusetts brought a motion to question whether the machines were reliable.
Currently, an ongoing appeal shows that the breath tests may not be reliable and litigation is still pending at this point. Many of the breath tests were presumptively excluded and all of them are currently being stayed at this point until the court determines whether they are reliable.False Positives and Inaccurate BAC Scores
Some medical conditions such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause breath test results to be artificially high. GERD is a medical form of nearly constant heartburn caused by the regurgitation of the stomach acid. That can bring up the alcohol into a person’s mouth which causes a BAC that is higher than what would be in the person's blood.
Asthma can also affect breath test results and make them artificially high depending on whether the person uses their inhaler shortly before taking the test. Additionally, Dedham OUI breathalyzers can have errors.
They are supposed to be calibrated in a specific way. When they are not calibrated properly, the reading can be artificially high. Another technical reason is that the breath test could be inaccurate.The breathalyzer machine must be calibrated every 100 days. It must be annually certified and typically, they do comply with that processing in Dedham.Why Do Government Experts Continue to Rely on Breathalyzer Machines?
It is easy for the government to say the results are per se which means somebody is under the influence. It takes away some of the guesswork of field sobriety test especially where field sobriety tests can be so subjective based on a person's age, size, and health. They want to stick by the standard that says a specific number means somebody is under the influence even though it is apparent that their machines are not as reliable as people think.Challenging Erroneous Breathalyzer Results in Court
Erroneous breathalyzer results can be challenged in court and potentially suppressed. The police officer must follow specific procedures prior to using Dedham OUI breathalyzers. An experienced defense lawyer could file a motion to suppress prior to trial if they believe the officers did not adhere to the protocols. Another way to suppress evidence is for technical reasons in the form of motions in limine on the trial date. The attorney can ask the judge to exclude the breath test if the Commonwealth does not bring in the necessary information to show that the breathalyzer machine is calibrated and annually certified. If an individual wants to challenge the results of their breath test in court, they should consult a qualified OUI lawyer that could help.