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All Press Releases for December 21, 2013 »
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Reliability of Breathalyzer test being questioned in cases across the U.S.

False Breathalyzer readings can be devastating to a DUI case, since anyone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above is considered impaired.
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    December 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Facing a DUI charge in Illinois can be overwhelming. Not only does it come with strict consequences, but a DUI can wreak havoc on your record for many years to come. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly 39,000 drivers were arrested in 2011 from driving under the influence of alcohol; however, many of those charged may have fallen victim to an unreliable Breathalyzer test.

Breathalyzer significance

False Breathalyzer readings can be devastating to a DUI case, since anyone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or above is considered impaired. If you are charged with a DUI offense, you can expect the following repercussions:

First offense: Administrative license suspension for six months, mandatory ignition interlock device, 100 hours of community service and a $500 fine.

Second offense: Two days in jail, $1,250 fine.

Third offense: Ninety days in jail, $2,500 fine.

Forth offense or greater: Class 2 felony with possible sentence of three to seven years in jail, and a maximum fine of $25,000.

The significance of a Breathalyzer test is vital in states that use this data as admissible evidence in court and base rulings off of the data found from these machines.

Inaccuracies in Breathalyzer readings

In Ohio, a Franklin County Municipal judge ruled that any Breathalyzer samples taken by the county's new device, the Intoxilyzer 8000, were inadmissible in court as the machine produced scientifically unreliable data. In New York, a new Breathalyzer model known as the Alcotest 7110 was found to be giving false readings, leading to the closure of over 10,000 DUI cases.

Cases similar to these exist all over the country. In fact, a peer reviewed study evaluated the reliability of a Breathalyzer test in comparison to a blood alcohol content measure. Surprisingly, there was found to be a 50 percent margin of error. Some states have taken a step to ban the use of Breathalyzers altogether.

Taking steps to reduce the rate of wrongful convictions

In states that still utilize the Breathalyzer test as a measure of alcohol impairment, proper calibration must be proven before evidence is admissible. If the state's set DUI limit is within a 0.1 percent threshold, the reading must exceed 0.2 percent in order to found as an irrefutable presumption of guilt. Any readings below 0.1 percent should have no credibility other than generating probable cause to further test for blood alcohol content.

When to call an attorney

If you have been subjected to a Breathalyzer test and are being charged with a DUI in Illinois, be sure to call an experienced DUI attorney immediately. A knowledgeable attorney will have extensive experience dealing with the DUI laws in Illinois, and will understand how to better your specific situation.

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