December 18, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Many drivers in Los Angeles know that driving while intoxicated is a risky decision. Many drivers likewise are aware that California DUI penalties
are not trivial. Still, despite this knowledge, many drivers aren't as well aware of their rights in the event of a DUI arrest.
A recently discovered error in blood test analyses for DUI arrests in nearby Orange County underscores the fact that DUI arrests and convictions are not always carried out perfectly. This means that drivers facing DUI charges need to take care to protect their rights.
Blood test error uncovered
CBS Los Angeles reports that the Orange County Crime Lab recently discovered errors in the results of blood tests analyzing blood-alcohol content (BAC). Human error caused one of the machines to produce incorrect readings. The error was small -- so small that lab safeguards did not catch it -- but it proved significant for some drivers.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the Orange County Crime Lab director reported that about 20 people convicted of DUI had BAC levels that should have been found to be under the legal limit. Letters have been sent to a total of 900 people who were convicted of DUI based on an incorrect BAC level.
Although many of these people may not have had a BAC level below the legal limit, their sentencing terms may have been affected by the incorrect calculations. For instance, a small error in blood test analysis could have pushed an intoxicated driver's BAC level above the threshold for aggravated DUI, leading to significantly more severe punishments.
Occurrences like this are uncommon, but the situation reflects the fact that mistakes can be made in the course of DUI cases. Although many drivers think that breath testing
and physical sobriety exercises are most likely to yield inaccurate results, the crime lab error shows that there is room for error in almost any sobriety test.
Assistance for drivers accused of DUI
It is important for drivers who have been arrested for DUI to understand that they still have options. The first step that a driver facing these charges should take is contacting an attorney. It is best for drivers to do this before they make any compromising decisions and while events are still fresh in their minds.
There are a number of ways that a lawyer may be able to help a driver fight DUI charges, depending on the circumstances. Errors that can invalidate a DUI arrest include:
- A driver being pulled over without probable cause.
- A law enforcement authority failing to warn a driver about his or her rights.
- A police report including inaccurate information or omissions.
- A chemical test being administered incorrectly.
- An instrument used in a chemical test being calibrated incorrectly.
These occurrences may be more common than many drivers realize. This is why it is worth seeking legal aid and finding out whether an arrest can be challenged or sentencing can be reduced.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, make sure that you protect your rights by speaking with an attorney as soon as you can.
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