In May of 2011, the Santa Clara County Defense Attorney of California notified the criminal defense bar of a faulty blood alcohol content (BAC) measuring device. Beginning in 2010, both the San Jose Police Department and the Palo Alto Police Department started relying on the device in part when administering field sobriety tests to motorists suspected of driving under the influence. The measuring device, the Alcho-Sensor V has been identified as incorrectly registering BAC, and as a result, the DA notified all relevant DUI defense attorneys as well as those unrepresented parties, so they could consider appeals. Law enforcement officers have many ways of determining whether an individual has been driving under the influence—from breath-alcohol content (BrAC) measuring devices that they can administer at check-points to blood-alcohol content devices (BAC) that they can administer elsewhere.
BAC devices must work correctly, and administers of those tests must also adhere to a strict standard of rules and regulations that dictate their proper registration and application. For instance, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment specifies that BAC devices must be certified and approved by the Department of Evidential Breath Alcohol Tests (EBAT). Furthermore, administers of the tests must have completed certification by completing at least 8 hours of training and score 80% or higher on a written exam. Even after certification of the law enforcement officer and certification of the device, the law enforcement officer must then adhere to another set of specific rules when administering the tests. For instance, when administering a BrAC test, the law enforcement officer or other administer must observe the individual receiving the test for a period of no less than twenty minutes to ensure no bodily functions—such as belching or regurgitating—interfere with the test. If those specific conditions have not been met, then the validity of the test may be in question.
With so many variables in this equation, a DUI defense attorney should be sought immediately by anyone arrested for allegedly driving under the influence. The likelihood that oversight has occurred in at least one of these areas runs relatively high. As such, you’ll want to make sure you have all the facts at hand. Don’t hesitate if you find yourself in this situation. Contact a legal professional who can advise you of your options right away and who will suggest a prudent and intelligent course of action.