Drunk Kermit

Drunk Kermit

Taking the Breath Test:

With Labor Day on the way you can rest assured that all forms of law enforcement will be out in mass numbers. D.U.I checkpoints will be set up across the nation and the sheer number of traffic stops will be staggering. Backyard BBQ’s and trips to the lake will be abundant as will the number of people drinking and driving. We at the Law Office of Jones Brown do not promote drinking and driving in any shape way or form. Now with that said, if you do find yourself in a situation with law enforcement, should you let them test your breath for alcohol? The quick answer would be “NO,” but let’s take a look at the reason why.

What Does a Breath Test Do?

Alcohol intoxication is legally defined by your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.  A BAC of .08 or above is the only scientifically objective way to prove someone is intoxicated.  The most accurate method of testing would be to take a blood or urine sample, but these are impractical for obvious reasons.  The less invasive solution is to measure the ethanol level of a person’s breath.

How Does a Breathalyzer Work?

Scientists found a direct correlation between the amount of ethanol in a person’s breath and the amount of alcohol in their blood (BAC).  In Oklahoma, the police use the Intoxilyzer to take this measurement.  The Intoxilyzer uses infrared light and a very small computer to interpret and calculate the BAC from a person’s breath.

Take the Field Test or Jail Test?

Breath tests administered at the scene are usually not admissible in court because they are not as reliable.  This means that police have to administer the test when you get to the jail.  This can cause all sorts of issues that can make the test less reliable.  What you had to eat, the machines service log, and even if you belched prior to the test can bring into question the validity of the measurement. These machines just sit in the back of a police car and you really have no idea about the servicing of said machines, or when and if it has been checked for reliability and accuracy.

So Should You Take the Test?

In our opinion you should just say “No Thank You,” and refuse the test.  There is not really an upside for you if you take it.  Without the breath test the police will have only their observations and the Field Sobriety Test.  This is much easier to fight in the court system rather than a number from a machine that has been sitting in the back of a police car. So if you did take the test, there is still hope.  The Intoxylizer evidence has been found unreliable in some at least one State.  The reason? The manufacturer of the Intoxylizer can’t prove the accuracy of their device.  It is only a matter of time before the Intoxilyzer will be challenged here in Oklahoma.

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What we at Jones Brown PLLC. call criminal law broadly refers to federal and state laws that make certain behavior illegal and punishable by imprisonment and/or fines. Our legal system is largely comprised of two different types of cases: civil and criminal. Civil cases are disputes between people regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe each other. Criminal cases, meanwhile, are charges pursued by prosecutors for violations of criminal statutes.

Being arrested and/or charged with a crime is serious, and the need to defend yourself should not be delayed or taken lightly.

Regardless of whether the charge is an outstanding warrant, or if you’ve already been taken into custody, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney immediately! Our attorneys represent individuals, corporations, and institutional clients through plea negotiations, trials, and appeals in state courts and throughout all federal courts nationwide.

The attorneys at Jones Brown understand that their task is to first remind everyone involved –the prosecutor, judge, and any witnesses or jurors – that you are innocent until proven guilty and are defending yourself. Regardless of how you ended up charged with breaking a law, you deserve a fair shot in the courtroom. CLICK HERE to contact Jones Brown.

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