October 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Inaccurate DUI tests can be defense options
Seattle area drivers face strict penalties if arrested for or convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol. DUI charges can even lead to felony charges depending upon the circumstances. Washington state justice department data indicates that more than 35,000 drivers were arrested statewide for drunk driving in 2012.
With numbers that high, it is important for all drivers to fully understand how drunk driving is determined and the tests used to support such allegations--and the problems that can be inherent in each type of testing. There are three types of testing utilized at different points in the DUI
process. These include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests and blood tests.
Subjectivity of field sobriety tests
Upon being stopped by a police officer for any number of reasons, a driver is at the officer's mercy to some degree. If the officer suspects intoxication, he or she can request that the driver consent to standard field sobriety tests. Drivers at this point may be subject to some pre-determination discrimination insofar as the officer's belief that alcohol is involved in whatever behavior has been noticed can factor into his or her identifications of test results.
The most commonly administered tests are:
-Horizontal gaze nystagmus
-Walk and turn
The gaze test is one of the most subjective of all and least recordable. A driver's eyes will not videotape well, especially at night, and therefore judges and juries are commonly unable to use this test to corroborate a DUI. The walk and turn test requires officers to deliver very precise instructions and, if those are not properly followed, the test results may not be admissible in court. The one-legged stand test can all-too easily be affected by a person's inability to balance due to some physical problem or limitation
Unfair breathalyzer testing
In order to be legal, a breathalyzer test must be administered within two hours of driving, at a police station and after the driver has been monitored for at least 15 minutes to ensure no vomit or other objects are in his or her mouth. If any of these requirements are not followed, the test can be considered not usable or inaccurate.
Blood testing variances
As with any blood sample, the presence of certain medical conditions, medications or supplements can affect the results. Blood tests for DUI charges
are only administered in Washington if the driver is unconscious, at a hospital or other medical facility for treatment (as in the case of an injury accident) or if there is suspected drug use. Otherwise, the breathalyzer is the primary means of identifying the blood alcohol content.
Legal help may be the only help
The laws can make it difficult for people arrested on DUI or DWI charges to avoid convictions. There are many nuances in the laws and judicial process surrounding DUIs that make professional legal counsel the most prudent option for anyone facing DUI charges.
Visit us at seattleduilaw.net/