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Breathalyzer result admissibility in New York DUI and DWI cases

Readers of the blog we posted last week learned about some of the field sobriety test methods that are used to determine if someone should be charged with a DUI or DWI. While those tests are the first steps often used to make that determination, the Breathalyzer test is another important tool for determining the suitability of these charges. Our New York readers might find some points about Breathalyzers interesting.

When a person is charged with drunk driving after taking a Breathalyzer test, there are some important factors that can affect the admissibility of the test results. One of these factors is that the Breathalyzer must be calibrated in accordance with the local laws.

If a Breathalyzer isn't properly calibrated, it might not give accurate test results. Because of that, results from Breathalyzers that aren't calibrated aren't admissible in court. Generally, the accuracy of the specific device used has to be checked on a predetermined basis.

Another important aspect of Breathalyzer testing is that the administering party has to be certified to administer the test. Breathalyzer tests have certain guidelines that must be followed. For example, if you regurgitate, eat, vomit, burp or smoke just before the test, the test might not be accurate.

Another problem with a Breathalyzer comes into play if the readings aren't within a certain range of each other. The person administering the test can't rely on a single reading. Instead, two readings must be taken. Those must be within .02 of each other.

Anyone who is arrested for drunk driving should know his or her rights. They should pay attention to how the test is administered. Seeking the assistance of someone who is familiar with Breathalyzer testing might help you to determine if you need to question the test results.

Source: FindLaw, "Breathalyzer Calibration" Nov. 02, 2014

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