Saint Leo, FL – The state of Florida is allowed to make any driver submit to a test of breath, blood, or urine after a traffic stop where the person is suspected of drunk driving. Breath tests to detect the presence of alcohol are the most common, as urine testing is used to check for controlled substances, and blood tests tend to only be used when there are serious injuries or emergencies. The breath testing process is not perfect, and it is possible that mistakes or errors can be made.  

Intoxilyzer machines

The machine that is used to collect two breath samples after an arrest in Florida is called an intoxilyzer. There are various ways that these devices are supposed to be calibrated to protect against incorrect readings and tainted samples, although this does not always work perfectly. 

There is supposed to be a mandatory twenty minute observation period to ensure that the suspect does not ingest anything or vomit before taking the test, however some breath samples are tainted by excessive moisture from the mouth. The machine’s slope detector often does not notice the fact that the sample has been affected. 

Some defendants have also noticed that health issues related to gastric problems or acid reflux will cause an abnormally high breath alcohol reading. Alcohol which becomes trapped in the person’s mouth due to their dental work or various other reasons can cause a similar problem. 

Finally, the machines have software which contains important code that dictates how the functions of the device work. If the software is not properly updated as required, glitches or errors from previous versions that have not been corrected can cause problems. 

What can a defense attorney do if the breath sample may be incorrect?

A DUI defense lawyer can request all of the records related to the machine used during the arrest during the discovery process. If a lawyer finds after their investigation that the machine was not properly maintained, the breath samples seem inaccurate, or other problems, they can file a motion to have the breath samples and testing information excluded from the case. It is also possible that the officer collecting the sample may have made mistakes or not been familiar enough with proper breath testing procedures. If this is true, evidence of their inexperience and mistakes can be introduced during the defense case

Help from a Florida DUI lawyer

Anyone who has been arrested for drunk driving in Saint Leo or other parts of Florida can contact an attorney for representation. Michael M. Raheb is a lawyer who is experienced in all aspects of DUI defense.  

Firm contact info:

The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A.

2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *