A Proven Criminal Defense Team

Some things you might want to know about Colorado DUI breathalyzers

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2020 | Blood Alcohol Tests |

It’s notable, isn’t it, how often the general public simply accepts what law enforcers tell them at face value?

That is especially apparent in the evidentiary realm, where prosecutors and other government officials often step up to say that a criminal law case has been resolved through solid and unquestionable proofs. Jurors, for example, are routinely told that they can rest easy and fully trust what they are  hearing because it has been vetted through rigorous police work and unerring technology.

Here’s a bottom-line reality regarding that just-believe-us spin: It often turns out to be far from the truth. And there are legions of wrongfully convicted individuals who can attest to its inaccuracy.

Breath testing: what proven defense counsel already knows

Colorado residents automatically consent to alcohol breath testing as a prerequisite to securing their driver’s licenses. Failure to submit when ordered to by a police officer yields a one-year license suspension, which an experienced attorney can challenge at a formal hearing.

That onus alone lends a strong degree of authority and credibility to the testing process and obtained results.

It shouldn’t.

And here is why: Myriad studies, including a noted investigation recently concluded by the New York Times, strongly conclude that the breathalyzers police strongly rely upon and prosecutors tout are anything but error-proof.

In fact, they routinely yield mistakes – sometimes shockingly glaring errors – in police/motorist encounters nationally. Following are some reasons why:

  • Different breathalyzer models are used across the country that produce materially varied results
  • Police handling of breathalyzers can further cloud the process via incorrect set up, deficient maintenance and improper result interpretation
  • Police agencies sometimes doctor breathalyzer procedures through interaction with unrecommended chemical testing kits
  • Breathalyzers having safeguarding technology features are sometimes tampered with or completely disabled

The Times study understandably reveals that breathalyzer flaws “have caused a lot of harm” for people who end up being severely punished without having committed any crime at all. The potentially harsh consequences in play following a DUI conviction can be notably material and even life-altering.

Seeking help in the wake of a flawed breathalyzer result

A Colorado motorist seeking to contest a DUI charge linked to problematic breathalyzer use might think that his or her case is essentially hopeless, but that is actually far from being true. One in-depth legal overview of Colorado DUI breath testing underscores that, “A positive breath or alcohol test is just the beginning of a prosecutor’s attempts to convict you for drunk driving.”

A proven and aggressive legal response can often probe the government’s case from many angles and uncover evidence that leads to case dismissal or reduced charges.

Time is of the essence in a Colorado DUI matter. A proactive and aggressive response can yield optimal benefits for a criminally charged state motorist.